Over 100 Palestinians Killed in Aid Convoy ‘Massacre,’ According to Gaza Officials

IDF Updates YouTube
IDF Updates YouTube

At least 104 people were killed and hundreds injured in Gaza on Thursday after the Israeli military fired on crowds of Palestinians waiting for food aid, according to the enclave’s Hamas-run health ministry.

The incident took place at a traffic circle in al-Nabusi in the north of the enclave, a spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry said. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) separately claimed that a “violent gathering of Gazan residents” had surrounded trucks delivering humanitarian aid, and that “dozens were killed” as a result of being trampled.

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The IDF said the crowd had started looting equipment from the arriving trucks and that people were crushed in the melee. The Israeli military also released aerial footage purportedly showing “how the Palestinian crowd attacked the trucks” and dozens died from consequent trampling.

Hospital officials initially said that an Israeli strike had hit the crowd, with witnesses later claiming that Israeli soldiers had started shooting as people tried to get canned goods and flour off the trucks, according to the Associated Press.

The U.N. estimates that around a quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 million population is facing starvation since the outbreak of Israel’s war and blockade in the enclave. The grinding military operations were launched in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in southern Israel which in which 1,200 people were killed and another 250 kidnapped, according to Israeli officials. Over 30,000 people have now died in Gaza as a result of the conflict, Palestinian health officials said Thursday.

The office of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, said he “condemned the ugly massacre conducted by the Israeli occupation army this morning against the people who waited for the aid trucks.”

An initial IDF probe of the incident concluded that the majority of the casualties from the incident were injured by the stampede and being run over by the aid trucks, according to The Times of Israel. The investigation also reportedly found that an Israeli officer in the area did give an order for warning shots to be fired as the crowd came close to soldiers. An order was then given to shoot at the legs of those who continued to move toward the troops, the Times reports.

In a statement, Hamas warned that the incident could derail talks currently underway to secure a new ceasefire and hostage release deal.

“The negotiations conducted by the movement's leadership are not an open process at the expense of the blood of our people,” the statement read, referring to the deaths on Thursday, according to Reuters. It added that Israel would be to blame if the talks break down.

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