Israeli forces kill over 100 Palestinians rushing to aid trucks

GAZA STRIP/ GOLAN HEIGHTS  -   Israeli forces in war-torn Gaza opened fire on a crowd of Pales­tinians at an aid distribution point Thursday, killing at least 104 people and wounding over 700 according to Palestinian health officials.

Israeli sources confirmed that troops shot at the crowd, believ­ing they “posed a threat”, in the pre-dawn incident in Gaza City in the north of the besieged territory.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza condemned what it labelled a “massacre” and said it had claimed at least 104 lives and left 760 people wounded. A witness told AFP that the violence unfolded when thou­sands of people desperate for food rushed towards aid trucks at the city’s western Nabulsi roundabout. 

“Trucks full of aid came too close to some army tanks that were in the area and the crowd, thousands of people, just stormed the trucks,” the witness said, declining to be named for safety reasons. “The sol­diers fired at the crowd as people came too close to the tanks.” The Is­raeli army initially said that “during the entry of humanitarian aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip, Gazan residents surrounded the trucks and looted the supplies being delivered”. 

It added that “during the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling. The incident is under review.”

Later an Israeli source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymi­ty, that “the crowd approached the forces in a manner that posed a threat to the troops, who responded to the threat with live fire”.

As the dead and wounded were taken to several of Gaza’s few func­tioning hospitals, health officials re­ported a steadily rising death toll.

“Medical teams are unable to deal with the volume and type of injuries arriving at Al-Shifa Medical Complex as a result of weak medical and hu­man capabilities,” one official said in a statement. In the green hills of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights near Lebanon, Arye and Ditza Alon are hiking through a tranquil nature re­serve, wondering whether the wid­er region could become a war zone. 

While mediators hope for a truce soon in the war raging in Gaza to the south, fears are growing that months of cross-border clashes in the north could escalate into a bigger conflict. 

“It’s a big question,” said Ditza, pondering whether Israel should fight another major war against Leb­anon’s armed movement Hezbollah.

She argued there is a risk either way, and considered the dilemma as she stood with her husband in the reserve at the foot of snow-capped Mount Hermon. “We understand that if there won’t be a war... then what happened in Gaza could hap­pen again,” she said, referring to Oc­tober 7 attacks on southern Israe­li communities. “On the other hand, we know that if there will be a war... there’s going to be a big war and a lot of soldiers and civilians will die.”

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