100-plus killed as Israeli soldiers open fire on Palestinians waiting for aid: Gaza officials

100-plus killed as Israeli soldiers open fire on Palestinians waiting for aid: Gaza officials

More than 100 Palestinians in Gaza City were killed Thursday while trying to get critical humanitarian aid, according to officials in Gaza, who described the incident as a massacre after Israeli forces opened fire on the civilians.

The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said 104 people were killed and more than 700 injured, with the numbers likely to increase.

Pro-Hamas and pro-Iranian media were reporting that Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian civilians on Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City while scrambling to access humanitarian aid.

The Israeli military said in a statement that Gazan residents surrounded trucks and “looted” supplies.

“Dozens were killed and injured from pushing, trampling and being run over by trucks,” Israeli forces said in a statement, though officials said the “incident is under review.”

Israeli officials acknowledged separately to The Associated Press that soldiers opened fire at the crowd, and Palestinian civilians also told the outlet that forces fired into the crowd.

More than 30,000 people have died in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, a death toll that is increasing pressure on the U.S. and Israel to stop the war.

Negotiations are underway to potentially secure a cease-fire and a hostage release agreement, but President Biden’s optimism that a deal could be reached this week is not shared by Hamas and Israel, who remain at odds.

Israel has come under international criticism for its campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack that killed 1,200 people in southern Israel and saw the kidnapping of another 240, about 100 of whom are still held in Gaza.

Israeli forces have operated in hospitals and attacked other civilian infrastructure, accusing Hamas of hiding behind civilians. The Israeli military is threatening to move into the southern Gaza city of Rafah on March 10, which marks the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which could imperil more than a million civilians sheltering there.

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