A picture released on December 24, 2023 by the Jordanian Armed Forces website shows members of the Jordanian military load what it said to be humanitarian aid into a plane to be airdropped to a church in Gaza on Christmas Eve, in Zarqa, Jordan. Jordanian Armed Forces/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

AMMAN (Agencies): The Jordanian army airdropped humanitarian aid on Sunday for hundreds of Palestinians besieged within a church in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

”Under Royal directives, the Jordanian Armed Forces on Sunday evening dropped humanitarian aid to relieve those trapped inside the Church of Saint Porphyrius in the Al-Zaytun neighbourhood in the northern Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement.

It added that around 800 civilians, primarily Christian, are trapped inside the church, facing food shortages and a severe lack of basic necessities amid harsh humanitarian conditions.

The statement noted that ”aid packages were dropped by parachutes onto the church, which serves as a shelter for Christians and their children, while Israeli occupation forces surround it.”

The drop, marking the seventh by the Jordanian army since the outbreak of the war on the Gaza Strip, “comes as a message of solidarity with our Christian brothers in the enclave amid the ongoing Israeli war, which has cast its shadow over the Christmas festivities,” said the statement.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on 7 October, killing at least 20,424 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 54,036 others, according to health authorities in the enclave.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with half of the coastal territory’s housing damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely-populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean water.

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