24 Jul 2014

As Casualties Mount, Dubai Airlift for Gaza Enters Fourth Day

Dubai, July 24 – As Palestinian deaths in Gaza skyrocket past 700 and more than 140,000 Gazans are displaced, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday afternoon ordered another Boeing 747 cargo aircraft to be put under the disposal of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) until Sunday, and gave orders for the IHC to source other high-capacity aircrafts, such as the Antinov, to participate in the airlift operation for Gaza. This massive airlift operation will bring the total cargo capacity to 150 tonnes of aid per day delivered to Jordan for passage to Gaza.

At the same time, Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for Palestine Refugees also expressed his gratitude and thanks to HH Sheikh Mohammed for His personal commitment and support towards alleviating the pain and distress of tens of thousands of Gazans whose suffering sees no end. The Commissioner General Also expressed his admiration to the way the international Humanitarian City has been handling the Logistics operation with its UN and non-UN partners.

Emergency supplies have come from stocks at IHC, the world's largest logistics centre for emergency aid. New stocks are being procured to ship to Gaza and replenish supplies. Principal donors to the operation are: UNWRA, the UAE Red Crescent, WHO, Dubai Airwing, the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, and the UN World Food Programme.

More than 35,000 blankets valued at AED 757,000 ($206,000) arrived this morning at Amman's Marka airport from Dubai on board a Boeing 747, followed by two flights carrying hygiene kits worth AED 65,820 ($17,920) and approximately AED 304,000 ($83,000) in medical supplies from the World Health Organization.  The total value of the shipped goods has already reached over AED 5.1m (approx. $1.4m).  

From Amman, aid cargoes are then loaded onto trucks for transport into Gaza. The IHC made an urgent appeal to all relevant authorities to keep both the Allenby bridge and Kerem Shalom border crossing open during the Eid Al Fitr holiday, to ensure that humanitarian aid shipments do, in fact, make it in to Gaza without any delay or breaks, which would be detrimental to the plight of the citizens of Gaza.