April 13, 2024

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News, hostage release and more

News, hostage release and more

Several countries have called for an investigation into the Gaza food site tragedy

A wounded Palestinian receives medical treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid trucks on Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City, Gaza City, February 29.

A wounded Palestinian receives medical treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid trucks on Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City, Gaza City, February 29. Daoud Abo Alkas/Anatolu/Getty Images

At least 115 people were killed and at least 760 wounded when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian civilians as they waited for food on Thursday, according to Dr. Ashraf al-Qitra, spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

It was one of the worst tragedies in Gaza since Israel's war against Hamas began on October 7.

Demands for an independent inquiry into the incident are now growing. The United Nations has called for an independent investigation to establish the facts, a call backed by countries such as France.

What happened: At least 18 food trucks arrived in northern Gaza on Thursday morning, sent by several countries in the region. Palestinian civilians gathered around newly arrived aid trucks hoping for food, and Israeli forces soon opened fire, witnesses said. Aid trucks tried to leave the area, accidentally hitting others, causing more deaths and injuries, witnesses told CNN. The Israeli military has given a different version of the circumstances. In an update on Thursday, the Israeli army said Israeli tanks fired warning shots to disperse the crowd around the aid convoy after it saw people trampled.

A universal demand for investigation: This Friday, the White House said the United States had asked Israel to investigate the tragedy. Germany called for a “thorough investigation” of Israel. France said it supported the United Nations' call for an independent investigation, and France's foreign minister called the events on the ground “indefensible.”

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What does war mean?: The deaths come at a critical time in the conflict, as talks between Israel and Hamas to end the fighting and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza have reached a critical juncture. Issad al-Rishek, a senior member of Hamas, has warned that the killing of people collecting aid from trucks in Gaza could lead to the failure of the ongoing talks. U.S. officials said Friday that there was no sign of the talks being significantly derailed, but that the response from Qatar, Egypt, Israel and the United Kingdom to what was discussed in Paris and Doha last week depended on what Hamas expected. to us.

Against the backdrop of a dire humanitarian situation: More than half a million people in Gaza are on the brink of famine, as the war approaches five months, United Nations agencies warned earlier this week. Help was so scarce that, when available, it often caused panic. At least 10 Palestinian children have died of starvation in Gaza, and the number is expected to rise, the UN says.

Aid flows have declined: The Rafah crossing, which has been heavily aided by Gaza, is now operating at reduced speed, and the alternative Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel has been blocked by protesters demanding the release of hostages held by Hamas. . The Jordanian military conducted three aid airdrops in parts of Gaza City on Friday, and US President Joe Biden announced that the US would conduct its own supply airdrops in the coming days.