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At least 20 Palestinians killed at aid distribution site in Gaza

Israel has denied claims that its military is responsible for the incident, saying Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the crowd.
At least 20 Palestinians killed at aid distribution site in Gaza
Posted at 7:32 AM, Mar 15, 2024

The Palestinian Health Ministry accused Israeli forces of launching an attack near an aid distribution point in war-wracked northern Gaza, killing 20 people and wounding 155. The Israeli military said Friday that Palestinian gunmen were the ones to open fire and that none of its forces, who were securing a convoy of 31 aid trucks, fired toward the waiting crowd or the convoy.

Some of those in the crowd near the Kuwaiti Roundabout, the aid distribution point, were run over by the trucks in the violence late Thursday, the military said.

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Meanwhile, an aid ship loaded with some 200 tons of food was seen approaching Gaza's shores on Friday morning in a mission to inaugurate a sea route from Cyprus to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the enclave, five months into the war.

The ship, operated by the Spanish aid group Open Arms, left Cyprus on Tuesday towing a barge laden with food sent by World Central Kitchen, the charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.

The international community has been pushing for more aid to enter Gaza, frustrated with the growing humanitarian crisis and with Israel’s restrictions that have prevented more aid getting in by land. Australia announced early Friday it would resume funding to the United Nations relief agency for Palestinians and pledged additional money to UNICEF to provide urgent services in Gaza.

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A quarter of Gaza’s population is starving, the United Nations has warned, and the territory's Health Ministry says more than 31,314 Palestinians have been killed. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

Some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in southern Israel during the Hamas-led incursion on Oct. 7 that sparked the war. Around 250 people were abducted, and Hamas is believed to still be holding about 100 hostages.


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