The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the airdrop was carried out using three C-130 planes.

One of the officials said more than 35,000 meals were airdropped.

The White House has said the airdrops will be a sustained effort, and that Israel was supportive of the airdrops.

Other countries including France, Egypt and Jordan have carried out airdrops of aid into Gaza.

At least 576,000 people in the Gaza Strip - one quarter of the enclave's population - are one step from famine, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

With people eating animal feed to survive and medics saying children are dying from malnutrition and dehydration, the U.N. has said it faces "overwhelming obstacles" getting in aid.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Daniel Wallis)