update deskIsrael at War

Dozens of Gaza civilians reportedly killed during aid riot

According to an initial IDF probe, most died from being trampled or run over by the trucks.

Screenshot of aerial footage provided by the IDF of Gazans rushing aid trucks on Feb. 29, 2024. Source: X.
Screenshot of aerial footage provided by the IDF of Gazans rushing aid trucks on Feb. 29, 2024. Source: X.

Dozens of Gazans were reportedly killed during a riot that erupted following the entry of aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning.

An initial Israeli investigation found that most died from being crushed, run over or trampled.

Israeli gunfire caused fewer than 10 injuries after some in the crowd “endangered” troops and ignored warning shots, continuing to approach the soldiers, who fired at their legs. An orderly arrest procedure was carried out. No troops were hurt in the incident.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, residents surrounded the trucks on Al-Rashid Street, southwest of Gaza City, and looted the supplies, with many Palestinians being struck by the trucks or crushed by the crowd.

The incident began at around 4 a.m. when some 30 trucks passed an IDF checkpoint to deliver food in Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood. Thousands of Gazans rushed the trucks after they passed the checkpoint, resulting in a deadly stampede.

According to the IDF probe, some of the trucks continued further north, where Palestinian gunmen fired at the convoy and looted it.

Some in the crowd who rushed the last truck in the convoy then began moving towards Israeli forces tasked with coordinating the entry of aid into the Strip, in a way that “endangered” the troops, according to the IDF. This prompted an officer stationed at the checkpoint to fire warning shots in the air, after which troops fired at the legs of those who continued to move towards Israeli forces.

Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry reported that 104 people died and 280 were wounded during the riot, with some reports of a greater number of injured. The terrorist group is reportedly threatening to halt hostage negotiations over the incident, which it is calling a “massacre.”

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’s office also described it in those terms, adding that the “occupation army” bears full responsibility.

The spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council called the incident “serious” and said that Washington is checking reports about the event.

The IDF released aerial footage of the incident.

The IDF said that it is constantly examining different solutions to the task of providing humanitarian aid in Gaza and will look for a proper solution to prevent the scenario from occurring again.

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