From UN to US, Whole World Condemns New Horrendous Zionist Carnage in Gaza

From UN to US, Whole World Condemns New Horrendous Zionist Carnage in Gaza

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Originally published by Al Jazeera on 29 Feb 2024

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Here’s what happened 

  • More than 100 Palestinians were killed after Israeli soldiers and tanks fired on a crowd of thousands waiting for desperately needed food assistance. Israel has said that its forces fired at the crowd after aid trucks were stormed, but humanitarian groups have said that Israeli restrictions on food assistance to the north of Gaza have created unbearable conditions that set the stage for the incident.
  • UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said life is “draining out of Gaza at terrifying speed”, as the death toll from Israel’s assault on the strip, one of the most destructive in modern history, passed 30,000 people, the majority of them women and children.
  • A group of Israeli settlers broke through the Beit Hanoon (known as Erez to Israelis) border crossing with Gaza, entering the Palestinian territory and calling on the government to allow them to build illegal settlements there. Israel’s forces have taken few steps against Israeli demonstrators who have blocked aid from entering Gaza for several weeks.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he will not accept “delusional” conditions for a deal with Hamas, creating further doubt that an end or a prolonged pause to the fighting in Gaza is near.
  • Several Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, where a Palestinian gunman also killed two Israelis in a shooting near the illegal settlement of Eli

Ignoble Massacre in Gaza Strip by Israeli Strike at a Crowd Awaiting Humanitarian Aid: 112 Killed

 

Amnesty says investigating deadly Israeli attack on aid seekrers

The UK-based rights group says there must be an “urgent investigation” into the incident, which led to the deaths of at least 112 Palestinians. “Amnesty is investigating this as part of its ongoing documentation of violations against Palestinian civilians,” it said in a post on X.

“As the occupying power, Israel has a clear obligation to meet the basic needs of Palestinians, including by ensuring their unimpeded and safe access to aid.”

Palestinian injured near Nablus: Report

A Palestinian man has been injured following an attack by Israeli settlers at the Zatara military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, Wafa news agency is reporting. Local sources told Wafa that the injured man, Khalil Azam Assi, was targeted by settlers who pelted him with stones, leading to head injuries.

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West Bank Palestinian village fears settler attacks after settlement shooting

The victim only sustained minor injuries. “The situation is very tough, and the settlers are in the streets trying to attack homes near the main street,” Ouais told Al Jazeera.

In June of last year, settlers stormed Luban ash-Sharqiya, ransacked shops, targeted residential homes and destroyed dozens of cars after an attack on Eli. “Now we fear similar attacks against citizens,” Ouais said.

Oxfam says US policies contributing to risk of famine in Gaza

Oxfam has said that the group is opposed to potential US plans to airdrop packages of food into Gaza, saying that such efforts cannot cancel out US policies that have contributed to extreme hunger throughout Gaza.

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“Oxfam does not support US airdrops to Gaza, which would mostly serve to relieve the guilty consciences of senior US officials whose policies are contributing to the ongoing atrocities and risk of famine in Gaza,” Scott Paul, who conducts humanitarian policy at Oxfam America, said in a statement.

“While Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the absolute brink, dropping a paltry, symbolic amount of aid into Gaza with no plan for its safe distribution would not help and be deeply degrading to Palestinians. Instead of indiscriminate airdrops in Gaza, the US should cut the flow of weapons to Israel that are used in indiscriminate attacks.”

West Bank Palestinian shot by Israel succumbs to wounds

Shawamra’s older brother Najemeddin was also killed in the incident. The third sibling, Mohammed, escaped with minor injuries, a local doctor told Al Jazeera earlier. The three brothers were picking akoub (or gundelia), a cherished native plant, when they were shot.

Israeli protesters hold up bags of flour as they call for an end to the war

The Israeli group Standing Together has shared photos from an anti-war protest in Israel, where some protesters held up bags of flour following an Israeli attack on a Palestinian crowd waiting for desperately needed food assistance in Gaza earlier today, which some have termed the “flour massacre”.

The group says that protesters chanted, “We don’t want any more funerals, the nations want to live!”

“In Gaza today more than a hundred people were killed in line for flour and food. The war and the killing of hungry and innocent people do not bring us security, they only give birth to more pain, more hatred,” the group said in a social media post. “They will only bring more blood, more loss, more despair.”

‘US cannot continue funding Netanyahu war machine’: Bernie Sanders

The US senator has condemned Israel’s killing of 112 people seeking aid in northern Gaza.

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“Children are starving in Gaza. Instead of opening up the borders and allowing humanitarian aid to come in, Israeli soldiers are shooting people who are desperately trying to get food off of trucks,” he said in a post on X.

“The US cannot continue funding the Netanyahu war machine.”

Qatar condemns Israel’s ‘heinous massacre’ against Gaza aid seekers

“Qatar condemns in the strongest terms the heinous massacre committed by the Israeli occupation, against defenseless civilians who were waiting for humanitarian aid to arrive in Gaza, resulting in the death and injury of dozens of people,” the ministry said.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses that the continuation of the occupation’s brutal crimes, as part of its brutal war on the Gaza Strip, proves day after day the pressing need for urgent international action to immediately end this unprecedented aggression in recent history.”

Israel extends evacuation order for citizens near northern border

Israeli media outlets are reporting that Israel’s cabinet has approved extending the evacuation of northern residents by an additional five months, until July 7.

The evacuation order has been in place for the duration of Israel’s war on Gaza, as Lebanon’s Hezbollah continues to attack Israeli army positions and settlements along the country’s southern border with Israel.

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MSF: Israel responsible for ‘extreme deprivation’ leading to shooting

The group Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has said that Israel is “responsible” for the conditions of extreme hunger and deprivation that laid the groundwork for today’s attack on a crowd of Palestinians desperate for food assistance in northern Gaza.

“The situation in Gaza, and particularly in the north, is catastrophic. A few days ago, when we spoke to our staff there, they said they did not have enough food to eat, and that some were resorting to pet food to survive. They also reported the lack of water and its overall poor quality, leading to diseases,” MSF president Isabelle Defourny said in a statement, calling the situation a direct result of a “string of unconscionable decisions taken by Israeli authorities” during the war.

“The north has been largely cut off from assistance for months, leaving people trapped and with no choice but to attempt to survive on minuscule amounts of food, water and medical supplies. Entire neighbourhoods have been bombed and destroyed,” the statement adds.

“We consider Israel responsible for the situation of extreme deprivation and despair which prevails in Gaza, particularly in the north, which led to today’s tragic events.”

Mercy Corps renews call for ceasefire after Gaza massacre

The humanitarian group has urged a “sustained ceasefire coupled with unrestricted access to essential services” after the killing of more than 100 Palestinians waiting to receive aid in northern Gaza.

“I am once again trying to find the words to describe my horror at the unnecessary loss of life in Gaza as at least a hundred people are reportedly killed and many more injured at a food distribution in Gaza City,” Mercy Corps’ Tjada D’Oyen McKenna said in a statement.

“As always in this crisis, there are claims and counterclaims. But what is clear is that more innocent people have been killed as they tried to reach critical aid to keep their families alive.” D’Oyen McKenna also decried the “persistent and deliberate denial of humanitarian access into Gaza City and northern communities”.

Israeli spokesperson: Palestinians killed while waiting for aid were ‘run over’ by trucks

Israeli spokesman Eylon Levy has blamed, without presenting evidence, “Gaza truck drivers” for the killing of more than 100 Palestinians after Israeli soldiers opened fire on a crowd waiting for food in northern Gaza.

“My heart goes out to the civilians who got trampled in a stampede and run over by Gazan truck drivers. I can’t imagine the desperation of knowing the Hamas terror regime is hijacking vital aid, while UNRWA covers it up,” Levy said in a social media post.

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Palestinian witnesses say that Israeli forces opened fire on them with live ammunition and tank fire during a delivery of humanitarian assistance, with some killed in a stampede that followed. Israeli forces have said they opened fire because the crowd began storming the trucks.

In a statement on the incident, Hamas said, “All eyewitnesses in the area confirmed that the occupation army opened fire in a deliberate way at the chests of citizens waiting to receive aid.”

While Levy said there are “no limits” on the amount of aid entering Gaza, numerous humanitarian groups have reported that Israel is systematically blocking or delaying aid deliveries to northern Gaza, contributing to the spread of mass hunger and civil breakdown.

Cannot independently very Gaza death toll: Pentagon walks back Austin remarks

Earlier, we reported that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said more than 25,000 women and children had been killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza.

Responding to a question on Austin’s remarks, Pentagon press secretary Pat Ryder says the Pentagon could not independently verify the death toll since the war in Gaza began on October 7.

“His [Austin’s] answer was citing an estimate from the Hamas-controlled health ministry that more than 25,000 total Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. And as you’ve heard us say, we can’t independently verify that these numbers are accurate,” he added.

President Joe Biden, has previously cast doubt on the figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry, saying that he had “no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using” – a number that now puts the death toll at more than 30,000.

Former US development official says country has options for expanding aid in Gaza

Dave Harden, the former director for the occupied West Bank and Gaza for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has said that the US’s Biden administration has numerous means of increasing aid to Gaza if it chooses to use them.

“Get aid to Gaza? Open Erez, Karni, Sufa, Saladin Gate, expand Rafah & Karem Shalom. Flood Gaza w/ aid from multiple directions. Air drops, hand wringing, diplomatic blah, blah are a waste of time,” Harden said in a social media post.

“The sole superpower & the start up nation can’t get food to Gaza, gimme a break,” he continued.

More than 30 news outlets sign letter in solidarity with Gaza journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said that more than 30 news outlets have signed an open letter in solidarity with journalists in Gaza. The group says that of 94 journalists killed since the beginning of the war, 89 have been Palestinians killed by the Israeli military, making it the deadliest conflict for reporters ever recorded by CPJ.

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“For nearly five months, journalists and media workers in Gaza – overwhelmingly, the sole source of on-the-ground reporting from within the Palestinian territory – have been working in unprecedented conditions,” the letter reads. “These journalists – on whom the international news media and the international community rely for information about the situation inside Gaza – continue to report despite grave personal risk.”

Turkey says Israel committed ‘yet another crime against humanity’

Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Israeli forces have committed “yet another crime” after firing on Palestinians queueing for food in northern Gaza, where Israel has blocked or delayed large portions of humanitarian assistance for months.

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“Israel has committed yet another crime against humanity with the killing of the Palestinians in the Nabulsi Square. The fact that Israel, which has been using starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza, is now targeting innocent civilians who are seeking life-saving aid is evidence of Israel’s intention to destroy the entire Palestinian population,” a statement from the ministry reads.

“Israel must end its military operation in Gaza immediately. But the Israeli government does not have the common sense or the conscience to take this decision. The entire world must realise that the atrocity in Gaza is about to become a global catastrophe with repercussions far beyond the region. We therefore call on all those with influence over the Israeli government to stop the ongoing violence in Gaza.”

UNICEF chief says people in Gaza must have ‘safe access’ to aid

Executive Director Catherine Russell says the incident in north Gaza was another “grim reminder” of the hunger crisis in the coastal enclave.

“They must have safe access to humanitarian aid,” she posted on X.

Hamas welcomes deadly attack at West Bank Israeli settlement

The Palestinian group hails the shooting attack that killed two Israelis at the settlement of Eli as “heroic”.

“The occupation’s massacres against our resilient people, especially in the Gaza Strip – the latest of which was the heinous massacre in Gaza City last night – will not remain without response and punishment from our people’s heroes and fighters,” the group said in a statement.

White House calls for probe into Gaza mass shooting, reasserts support for Israel

White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton says the mass shooting against aid seekers in Gaza “needs to be thoroughly investigated”, reiterating that “too many” civilians have been killed in the war.

The US often calls on Israel to investigate its own abuses, but Israeli authorities rarely ever prosecute violations by their soldiers and often exonerate them of wrongdoing despite publicly available evidence.

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Dalton called on Israel to provide plans for how to maintain security in Gaza after military operations against Hamas have been concluded. “We have yet to see those plans, and we are deeply concerned about that,” she told reporters.

Asked whether Biden would consider withholding aid to Israel, Dalton dismissed the idea. “They are a close ally that will remain a close ally. They are in the throes of an existential battle – an existential threat to their existence from Hamas – and we’re going to continue to support them in that process,” she said.

‘Slaughter and starvation of Gaza cannot continue’: US think-tank

The Center for International Policy (CIP) has called on US President Biden to suspend the transfer of weapons to Israel after the massacre of aid seekers in northern Gaza today.

“President Biden must say ‘enough is enough’ and finally end US support for and complicity in the ongoing carnage in Gaza,” CIP Executive Vice President Matt Duss said in a statement.

Duss also stressed the need for a ceasefire, citing the expansion of the war into Lebanon and the Red Sea, which he warned could turn into a “more devastating conflict”.

“Nearly five months of slaughter and starvation of civilians in Gaza, and the continued holding and abuse of Israeli hostages, must not continue. It is time for President Biden and US partners to finally use their leverage to end this catastrophe,” he said.

Israeli attack on aid seekers continuation of ‘extermination’ policy: Oman

Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement says the deadly attack on aid seekers was a part of “systematic criminal acts by the occupation forces”.

The incident was a clear violation of international law the ministry said, adding that it was “nothing but a continuation of the policy of extermination pursued by the Israeli occupation forces”.

“The Sultanate of Oman calls on the international community to intervene urgently and decisively to put an end to the tragic humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip and to hold the occupying state fully responsible for its targeting of civilians and civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said.

US congressman says millions at ‘imminent risk’ of famine in Gaza

US Congressman Jim McGovern has said that the growth of extreme hunger in Gaza underscores the need for an “immediate ceasefire”.

“We need a ceasefire now. The US needs to get food & medical aid to people in Gaza — including sending a hospital ship & airdropping aid in, if that’s what it takes. Millions are at imminent risk of famine & starvation,” McGovern said in a social media post.  “Massive humanitarian support is needed to save innocent lives.”

Palestinian UK envoy calls on ICC to act following Israeli attack on aid seekers

“This is genocide: Shooting and killing dozens [of] starving people waiting for aid trucks to feed their children in the besieged north of Gaza,” Zomlot said in a social media post. “This is Israel’s barbarism and savagery. Every state that enables this or stays silent is complicit, and [ICC prosecutor] @KarimKhanQC is still dragging his feet.”

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Colombia suspends Israeli arms purchases following attack on Palestinian crowd

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has said that the world must “block” Netanyahu, after Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for food assistance in northern Gaza.

“Asking for food, more than 100 Palestinians were killed by Netanyahu. This is called genocide and is reminiscent of the Holocaust, even if the world powers don’t like to recognize it,” Petro, who has been an outspoken critic of Israel’s war in Gaza, said in a social media post.

“The world must block Netanyahu. Colombia suspends all purchases of weapons from Israel.”

Palestinians brace for settler attacks after settlement shooting that killed two Israelis

Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank are bracing for anticipated attacks by Israeli settlers after a Palestinian gunman killed two settlers near the Eli settlement.

“A Palestinian man, seemingly in his 20s or 30s, armed with what appears to be an automatic assault rifle, possibly an American M16, according to the video that we’ve seen. He arrived at that gas station at Eli, opened fire, killed two Israelis. Another Israeli gunman at the scene then shot and killed this Palestinian man,” Al Jazeera correspondent Zein Basravi reported from the West Bank.

“We’ve already seen settlers take to social media calling for retaliation, saying they should not be silent. Palestinian communities are expecting some kind of retaliation, some kind of response,” he added.

Originally published by Al Jazeera on 29 Feb 2024

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