Images show Palestinians running toward food parcels attached to parachutes as US airdrops begin on Gaza beach

  • The US delivered more than 38,000 meals into Gaza on Saturday.

  • The White House said this was the first of many airdrops to come.

  • Israeli and Palestinian delegations are expected to gather for ceasefire talks in Cairo on Sunday.

US military C-130 planes dropped more than 38,000 meals into Gaza on Saturday.

Parachutes with food parcels attached descended into the territory from around 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. local time, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said on its website.

Palestinians running towards food parcels.
AFP via Getty Images

The airdrop was carried out jointly by CENTCOM and the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

CENTCOM said the operation provided "essential relief to civilians affected by the ongoing conflict."

While humanitarian agencies have criticized the Biden administration for the airdrops, saying they are inadequate, White House spokesperson John Kirby said it was the first of many airdrops to come.

"This isn't going to be one and done," Kirby told reporters on Friday.

President Joe Biden added that the US would also "insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to get more and more people the help they need."

"No excuses," he said.

Airdrop Gaza
Jordanian army airdrops humanitarian aid in the northern Gaza Strip.Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu via Getty Images

The airdrop comes as talks over a ceasefire took a step forward on Sunday after a Hamas delegation reportedly arrived in Cairo.

"There's a framework deal," a senior White House official told reporters on Saturday. "The Israelis have more or less accepted it. And there will be a six-week ceasefire in Gaza starting today, if Hamas agrees to release the default defined category of vulnerable hostages: the sick, the wounded, elderly and women."

An Israeli delegation is also expected to arrive in the Egyptian capital, although an Israeli official previously said that Israel would not negotiate further until it received a list of living hostages held by Hamas, Axios reported.

The situation in Gaza is at breaking point

On Thursday, 112 Palestinians were killed and around 760 were injured as they crowded around aid lorries in Gaza City.

Rafah city wait for food
Palestinians in Gaza queue for hours for foodAbed Zagout/Anadolu via Getty Images

US administration officials said that the "tragic incident" had highlighted "the importance of expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza in response to the dire humanitarian situation."

Palestine hunger
Palestinian men salvage bread found amid the rubbleSAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images

UN's World Food Programme said the conflict has left the "entire population of 2.2 million people in 'crisis' or worse levels of acute food insecurity."

"Child malnutrition is higher than anywhere in the world, with one child in every six under the age of 2 acutely malnourished," it added.

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