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Gaza: did Jordan and France miss their humanitarian airdrop?

This Monday, February 26, Jordan and France carried out food drops for the civilian populations of the Gaza Strip.

In Deir al-Balah, residents gathered on the beach helplessly watched packages fall into the sea. Some of them swam to look for pallets of aid that had fallen into the water.

A symbol of the Palestinians' dismay, these images have made the rounds on social networks, raising many questions about this humanitarian operation.

The images published by Palestinians and by the Jordanian and French army allow us to understand how the operation took place.

© Screenshots/RFI montage

By: Olivier Fourt Follow |

Grégory Genevrier Follow


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The first videos filmed in the Gaza Strip appeared during the day of Monday, February 26.

The population gathered on the beach awaits the arrival of aid from Jordan and France.

Large packages held by parachutes slowly descend from the sky, but some end up in the water.

The comments follow one another, and are sometimes bitter: “ 

The inhabitants of #Gaza were waiting for food and medicine, but the Jordanian and French pilots threw them into the sea in front of them.

Shame on these pilots, are they human


Shame on Arab leaders.

Shame on Western leaders.

What will history say about them



Very quickly, the Palestinian civilians gathered on the shore organized themselves to fetch the pallets of freight which were still floating.

Some manage to reach the area by paddle or fishing boat.

Those who spot emergency kits or rations are hilarious.

Like the now famous Palestinian videographer and influencer, Saleh Al-Jafarawi, who broadcast images on his Instagram account followed by more than 4.4 million people.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by صالح الجعفراوي (@saleh_aljafarawi)

A drop in the ocean in the face of famine in Gaza


France and Jordan, in coordination with other international partners, are intensifying their humanitarian cooperation to provide essential support to the population of Gaza in the context of a humanitarian situation of absolute emergency

,” underlines a diplomatic source French.

The French Air Force mobilized one of these C-130 Hercules cargo ships for this mission.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs assures that 2.2 tonnes of food parcels and hygiene kits were dropped by the French aircraft.

The Jordanian Air Force specifies, for its part, having resupplied eleven sites from North to South, from the coast of the Palestinian territory using three similar transport planes.

The videos, published this Monday, February 26 in the middle of the afternoon on social networks, concerned the Deir-al-Balah sector, as we were able to establish after cross-checking.

Video filmed near the port of Deir-al-Balah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Thank you Jordan for air dropping aid into the sea…

— Suppressed Voice.

(@SuppressedNws) February 26, 2024

The humanitarian airdrops notably targeted Rafah, Khan Younes and Deir al-Balah in the south of the Gaza Strip.


For several hours, these images looped, arousing the emotion of Internet users: “ 

Massive respect ✊🏼 for Jordan for the airdrop of food, water and medical supplies in several areas of Gaza.

Countries around the world 🌍, you can all drop humanitarian aid to Gaza like the Jordanian army did today.


A quick glance at the videos from February 26 reveals a total of four cargo planes.

At this stage, we do not yet know that a French aircraft participated in the humanitarian aid drops.

It was a Jordanian military official, Mustafa al-Hayari, who was the first to mention the presence of a French aircraft.

مدير الاعلام العسكري العميد الركن مصطفى الحياري يكشف تفاصيل أكبر ع ملية إنزال جوي أردني استهدفت السكان في غزة في مؤتمر صحفي بقاعد ا لملك عبدالله الثاني الجوية في منطقة الغباوي#غزة #فلسطین #الجيش_العربي # هنا_المملكة

— قناة المملكة (@AlMamlakaTV) February 26, 2024 “The operation involved four landing planes, three Jordanian planes and one French plane,” says Mustafa Al-Hayari.

On the French side, the news only arrived at the end of the afternoon.

Questioned by RFI, the army general staff mentioned the participation of French elements “ 


” in a Jordanian system, without giving further details.


The people of Gaza need massive humanitarian aid.

All crossing points must be opened without delay.

France and Jordan have just carried out a new operation to drop humanitarian cargo directly into Gaza

,” we can finally read, in Arabic, on Emmanuel Macron’s X account published at 5:36 p.m. (Paris time).

Remove the water from the water.

ويجب فتح جميع المعابر في أسرع وقت ممكن.

وأجرت فرنسا والأردن عملية إسقاط جوي جديدة للمساعدات الإنسانية ة مباشرة في قطاع غزّة.

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) February 26, 2024

At the Ministry of the Armed Forces, Minister Sébastien Lecornu congratulates himself 


 » But some pro-Palestinian accounts are publishing indignant reactions, this time targeting the French president.


This is the dropping of French and Jordanian humanitarian aid that Macron is talking about

: dropped on the open sea, where the poor Palestinians have no access.

It’s distressing… distressing.

Additional torture.


Why did the packages fall into the sea?

The images provided by the army headquarters clearly allow us to deduce the position of the French plane at the time of the drop.

The aircraft flies exactly on the coastline, right above the beach.

The photos provided by the General Staff of the Armed Forces allow us to find out more about the location of the drop.

© Screenshots/ General Staff of the Armed Forces/ RFI Montage

At the time of the drop, visibility was not excellent over Gaza, but flight conditions were a priori acceptable.

The weather records show a weak wind which will change direction during the day.

The weather data, provided by the Windy application, shows a low intensity wind in the area.

© Screenshots/ Windy/ RFI Montage

A source within the Air and Space Force specifies that “ 

the guidance took place by gravity, without a GPS guidance system, and that it was carried out above the sea to avoid that a paddle does not injure someone on the ground, in the event of a parachute malfunction


It is estimated that the planes were flying around 2,500 feet before the drop (around 760 meters) and the packages packaged on pallets can weigh several hundred kilos.

On the ground, the area was overcrowded, so the aviators claimed to have “ 

logically made this decision


They finally specify: “ 

In the event of too weak wind or a non-linear wind gradient, the dropped package does not drift sufficiently towards the beach, which was the case on Monday for some packages.

 » The images of the opening of the packages published by the Palestinians on the networks finally show that the rations were packaged to resist water.  

This being said, in Paris, the general staff of the armed forces did not wish to comment on another aspect of the subject: the limitations which could be imposed by the Israeli army on planes carrying out humanitarian overflights.

Indeed, the air volume above and around the Gaza Strip is cluttered by numerous aircraft or projectiles.

In all cases, in order to carry out a safe maneuver, pilots generally prefer to release their equipment in calmer areas.

In no case could these supplies be carried out without close coordination with Israel.


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  • Gaza

  • Israelo-Palestinian conflict

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