April 24, 2024

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At least 19 people were killed as Israeli forces opened fire on aid seekers in Gaza  News of the Israeli war on Gaza

At least 19 people were killed as Israeli forces opened fire on aid seekers in Gaza News of the Israeli war on Gaza

Authorities in Gaza said that 23 people were also injured while waiting for bags of flour and aid near the Kuwait Roundabout.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza and its media office said that at least 19 Palestinians were martyred in an Israeli attack targeting civilians who were waiting for aid southeast of Gaza City.

The Gaza government media office said in a statement on Saturday: “The Israeli occupation committed a massacre that claimed the lives of 19 martyrs and injured 23 citizens while thousands of citizens waited for flour and aid to arrive near the Kuwait Roundabout.”

She said that the occupation army and its tanks opened fire with machine guns “at the hungry residents who were waiting for bags of flour and aid in a place far from any danger to the occupation.”

Mahmoud Basal, spokesman for the Gaza Civil Defense Department, said there was “intense shooting at civilians,” and the victims were taken to the nearby Arab National Hospital.

But with Gaza's health care system on the verge of collapse, many were treated outside in the open air.

He added: “There were very serious injuries, some of whom were hit by shrapnel. “The reality is tragic, difficult and challenging.”

Alaa Al-Khudari, a witness at the scene, told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces opened fire on the crowd, resulting in “several deaths” and wounding others as they tried to “eat food” for their children.

The wounded Palestinians were transferred to the Arab National Hospital in Gaza City [Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu Agency]

Famine looms

Half of Gaza's Palestinians are suffering from “catastrophic” hunger, with famine expected to reach the northern enclave by May unless there is urgent intervention, a UN-backed food assessment warned on Monday.

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But the distribution of aid has become increasingly dangerous, and sometimes deadly.

Last Tuesday, 23 Palestinians were martyred, and a number of others were injured, as a result of the Israeli bombing that targeted Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in the northern Gaza Strip.

On February 29, Israeli forces opened fire on hundreds of Palestinians as they gathered south of Gaza City waiting to receive humanitarian aid in what is known as the “flour massacre,” killing 118 people and wounding 760 others, according to the Gaza Strip’s Ministry of Health. .

The line of aid trucks detained on the Egyptian side of the border with the Gaza Strip while Palestinians face starvation on the other side is “moral outrage,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday during a visit to the Rafah crossing.

Al Jazeera's Tariq Abu Azoum, reporting from Rafah, said the latest shooting is part of a “clear and systematic policy used by Israel over the past few months.”

He said that Israeli forces are imposing restrictions on the delivery of aid to the northern Gaza Strip while also attacking people trying to reach humanitarian aid convoys.

He said that people in Gaza, despite the risks, are still waiting for convoys because they are “hungry and suffering from drought and want to return to their families with something to break their fast with.”

Volunteers distribute portions of red lentil soup to displaced Palestinians in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on February 18, 2024.
Volunteers distribute portions of red lentil soup to displaced Palestinians in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on February 18, 2024. [Said Khatib/AFP]

Reports of shooting 'incorrect': Israel

The Israeli army denied firing at the crowd.

“Reports claim that [Israeli military] An army statement said that the attack on dozens of Gazans in an aid convoy was untrue.

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He added: “Initial results concluded that there was no air strike against the convoy, and no incidents were found.” [Israeli] The forces opened fire on people who were targeting the aid convoy.”