Hamas calls for end to airdrops as at least 12 drown retrieving aid parcels from Gaza sea

ITV News Foreign Correspondent Emma Murphy reports live from Jordan after Hamas requested aid drops into Gaza to be ceased

At least 12 people have drowned off the northern Gaza coast while trying to reach airdropped parcels that had landed in the sea.

Hundreds of civilians rushed to the site of the aid drop on Monday, with some venturing into the water as parcels crashed down on the shores of the besieged enclave.

One graphic scene shows people performing CPR on several unresponsive bodies in a desperate attempt to resuscitate them.

Abu Mohammad, who witnessed the incident, described the moment, saying: “There were strong currents and all the parachutes fell in the water.

"People want to eat and are hungry. We call for the opening of the crossings in a proper fashion, but these humiliating methods are not acceptable."

It is not clear which country launched the specific airdrop that led to the fatalities.

Egypt, Germany, the UK, the US, Singapore, and a joint UAE-Jordanian mission all flew airdrops over Gaza on Monday.

The deaths come as Hamas called on Western countries to end airdrops of aid into Gaza, warning that the humanitarian delivery method is “offensive, wrong, inappropriate and useless.”

The group released a statement stating that "aid airdrops pose a real threat to the lives of hungry Palestinians" and that it puts the "lives of people in real danger," according to Anadolu Agency.

Aid parcels have been dropped onto the shores of Gaza. Credit: CNN

Earlier this month, at least five people were killed and 10 others injured when airdropped aid packages fell on them in Al Shati camp west of Gaza City.

Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised airdrops as an inefficient and degrading way of getting aid to Gazans, instead urging Israeli authorities to lift controls on land crossings into the enclave.

Israel’s severe restrictions on aid entering the Gaza Strip have drained essential supplies, condemning the entire population of more than 2.2 million people to the risk of famine, according to a UN-backed report.

The organisation has previously raised concerns over the limited access into Gaza, with the Rafah-border crossing the only viable entry point for aid deliveries and distribution across the strip has been restricted.

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