Israeli fire kills six Gazans awaiting aid trucks, say Palestinian health officials

UN has warned that at least 576,000 people in Gaza – one quarter of the population – are on the brink of famine

Israeli bombardment killed six Palestinians and wounded dozens of others as crowds awaited aid trucks in Gaza City, Gaza health ministry officials said on Thursday. Palestinians were rushing to get aid supplies at the Kuwait Roundabout in northern Gaza City late on Wednesday evening when Israeli forces struck the area, residents and health officials said. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.

The conflict in Gaza has displaced most of the enclave’s 2.3 million population and there have been chaotic scenes and deadly incidents at aid distributions as desperately hungry people scramble for food.

On February 29th Palestinian health authorities said Israeli forces shot dead more than 100 Palestinians as they waited for an aid delivery near Gaza City. Israel blamed the deaths on crowds that surrounded aid trucks, saying victims had been trampled or run over.

Separately, in Al-Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, Palestinian health officials said eight people were killed in an Israeli air strike that hit an aid distribution centre on Thursday.


In Deir Al-Balah, also in central Gaza, an Israeli missile hit a house, killing nine people, Palestinian medics said. Residents said Israeli aerial and ground bombardments continued overnight on areas across the enclave including in Rafah in the south, where over a million displaced people are sheltering.

The war was triggered by a Hamas-led attack on southern Israeli towns on October 7th in which 1,200 people killed and 253 taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies. Since then, Israel’s air, sea and ground assault on blockaded Gaza has killed more than 31,000 people and wounded more than 71,500, according to Gaza health authorities.

The large number of deaths and injuries as well as the widespread destruction and displacement of nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million population are among actions that the World Court has said could amount to genocide. Israel has rejected claims of genocide.

The Gaza health ministry said on Thursday Israeli military strikes across Gaza Strip had killed 69 Palestinians and wounded 110 others in the previous 24 hours.

With the war now in its sixth month the UN has warned that at least 576,000 people in Gaza – one quarter of the population – are on the brink of famine, and global pressure has been growing on Israel to allow more access to the enclave.

Israel denies obstructing aid deliveries into Gaza. It has blamed failures by aid agencies for delays, and has accused Hamas of diverting aid. Hamas denies this, and says Israel uses hunger as a weapon in its military offensive.

A ship carrying aid is approaching Gaza in a pilot trial of maritime delivery that is expected to be followed up by a US military effort to set up a dock on Gaza’s coast that will enable distribution of up to two million meals a day. While welcoming aid ships, Palestinian and UN officials say maritime deliveries are not a substitute for sending aid through land crossings.

Hamas on Thursday called for an escalation of protests and attacks against Israel in Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and Jerusalem on Friday, the first in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In a restaurant at a southern Israel junction, a soldier was stabbed on Thursday, Israeli police said. It said the suspected attacker, a 22-year-old from the nearby Bedouin city of Rahat, was shot and “neutralised”. – Reuters