UN, US, Others Call For Investigation Of Gaza Food Aid Deaths
FILE - Relatives mourn people killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. As Israeli warplanes pummel Gaza to avenge the Hamas attack, Palestinians say the military has largely unleashed its fury on civilians. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair, File)

UN, US, Others Call For Investigation Of Gaza Food Aid Deaths

1 month ago
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There are growing calls from the international community for a proper investigation into what happened at the Gaza food aid site on Thursday when not less than 100 people were reportedly killed.

The incident has been described as the worst carnage so far since Israel started waging war in Gaza against the Hamas militant group that masterminded the October 7, 2023, terrorist attack on Israeli civilians at an event.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops fired shots as hungry and desperate Palestinian civilians were gathering around food aid trucks.

The event happened against a backdrop of extreme poverty and widespread hunger in the besieged area, where food aid has been so scarce that it frequently causes panic when it does come.

There are conflicting accounts of the incident. According to a CNN report, IDF said the incident began when Palestinians attempted to loot the trucks. “Early this morning, during the entry of humanitarian aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip, Gazan residents surrounded the trucks, and looted the supplies being delivered.

During the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling,” the IDF told CNN.

In a briefing on  Thursday, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hargari denied there had been a strike on the trucks conveying aids.

Hargari said that Israeli tanks had fired warning shots to disperse a crowd around an aid convoy in Gaza, after seeing that people were being trampled.

The killings took place in western Gaza City on Haroun Al Rasheed Street, where large groups of hungry Palestinians had come to get food assistance.

READ ALSO: Israel-Gaza War: US Air Force Officer Dies After Setting Himself Ablaze In Protest

Witnesses reported that a convoy of eighteen food trucks, sent by countries in the region like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, arrived on Thursday morning at around 4:30 a.m.

Witnesses claimed that as civilians gathered around the just arrived relief vehicles in the hopes of obtaining food, Israeli troops opened fire.

The eyewitnesses told CNN that as the relief trucks attempted to flee the scene, they unintentionally rammed other vehicles, resulting in further casualties and fatalities.

The United Nations, United States and France among others have called for an independent investigation into the incident.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who condemned the incident, reiterated calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Guterres, in a statement through his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric said: “The desperate civilians in Gaza need urgent help, including those in the besieged north where the United Nations has not been able to deliver aid in more than a week.”

The US State Department said that it was urging Israel for clarification while also expressing sympathy for the dead and injured.

“Far too many innocent Palestinians have been killed over the course of this conflict, not just today, but over the past nearly five months,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said at a press briefing.

“We have been in touch with the Israeli government since early this morning and understand that an investigation is underway,” he said.

Miller stated that the US is aware of “conflicting reports” on the events, but would only confirm that the relief was being delivered by a convoy unaffiliated with the UN.

“If there’s anything that the aerial footage of today’s incident makes clear, it is just how desperate the situation on the ground is,” said Miller, calling for Israel to “allow the entry of more assistance into Gaza, through as many points of access as possible, and to enable safe and secure distribution of that aid throughout Gaza.”

In a statement issued on Thursday, the French ministry of foreign affairs stated that France was “waiting for all light to be shed on the acts mentioned, which are very serious.”

Reacting to the incident, United Arab Emirates demanded a “transparent and independent investigation.” On it part, Saudi Arabia denounced the incident and urged the international community “to take a firm stance by obliging Israel to respect international humanitarian law.”

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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