Israeli troops accused of firing on aid convoy in Gaza, leaving over 100 dead

Israeli forces are facing accusations of firing upon a gathering of Palestinians in Gaza City who were seeking food from aid trucks. The incident resulted in the tragic loss of at least 112 lives and left over 769 individuals injured, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The Israeli military has confirmed the use of live fire in one of two incidents. These incidents occurred against the backdrop of a rising death toll in Gaza, which has now surpassed 30,000, and growing concerns about the risk of starvation in the northern part of the territory. However, a different military spokesperson later denied that they had fired upon individuals who were seeking aid.

Israeli officials have contested the reported death toll, however, they have not provided an alternative figure. They claim that some of the casualties were caused by stampeding crowds or by being run over by aid trucks.

President Joe Biden expressed his concern that the loss of life would make the ongoing negotiations more challenging. These discussions are focused on achieving a cease-fire and securing the release of Israeli hostages currently held by Hamas in Gaza.

When asked about the incident, he confidently assured reporters on the White House lawn that the United States was actively working to determine what had occurred.

According to the source, the individual mentioned that the expected completion of the cease-fire deal by Monday is unlikely to happen.

In response to Jordan’s initiative of parachuting supplies into Gaza, Biden expressed his administration’s consideration of airdropping aid into the region. A U.S. official, confirming this development to NBC News, highlighted the potential implementation of this approach.

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Israeli officials have stated that a number of the individuals involved in the incident on Thursday were struck by aid trucks, resulting in their injuries. It was further mentioned that the crowd presented a potential threat to the soldiers, although the specific nature of this danger was not disclosed.

During an exclusive interview with NBC News, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, revealed that there were two distinct incidents that occurred.

According to Lerner, as people crossed through an Israeli checkpoint into northern Gaza from the south, they eagerly flocked to the aid trucks. In the midst of the chaos, hundreds of individuals surrounded the area, resulting in some being trampled or run over.

According to Lerner, there was another incident that took place nearby. He explained that individuals approached Israeli forces, which was seen as a potential threat. In response, the forces fired warning shots into the air. However, as the people continued to advance, the forces fired in order to neutralize the perceived threat.

The IDF is currently investigating the incident, according to a statement. The spokesperson emphasized the fact that the area is a war zone and stated that if someone approaches armed soldiers in such a zone and poses a threat, the soldiers have the right to fire warning shots into the air. The spokesperson advised that the best course of action in such a situation is to turn around and walk away. However, if someone continues to walk forward, the perceived threat remains.

During a press conference held later in the day, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari refuted the accusations that soldiers had fired at individuals seeking assistance during the incident. He clarified that the commanders made the decision to withdraw after the warning shots did not effectively disperse the crowd.

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According to Hagari, there was no firing directed towards the humanitarian convoy, whether it was from the air or from the ground. He emphasized that their main objective was to ensure the safe passage of the convoy to the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

The veracity of the incident described by Hamas and Israel could not be independently verified by NBC News. However, video footage released by the IDF depicts crowds gathering around trucks and subsequently dispersing. The exact timing of the recorded footage remains unclear.

The United Nations has expressed concern over the dire situation in Gaza, stating that 25% of the 2.3 million Palestinians living there are at risk of starving. The organization has condemned Israel for impeding the transfer of aid into Gaza by imposing restrictions on movement and communication.

The delivery of supplies has been hampered by the ongoing fighting and the breakdown of public order in Gaza. Aid convoys are overwhelmed by crowds of desperate people.

According to a statement by the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll has now reached 30,035, with an additional 70,457 people wounded since the start of Hamas’ attacks on Israel on October 7th.

The attacks claimed the lives of approximately 1,200 individuals, primarily innocent civilians. The militants also took control of roughly 250 hostages, some of whom were eventually released in November in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Additionally, the Israeli military managed to rescue a number of hostages.

Israeli military officials have reported that a total of 242 soldiers have lost their lives since the commencement of the ground invasion in Gaza.

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