UN chief urges probe into deadly Gaza aid convoy incident

UN chief urges probe into deadly Gaza aid convoy incident
UN chief urges probe into deadly Gaza aid convoy incident

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details UN chief urges probe into deadly Gaza aid convoy incident in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW YORK — The head of the UN has called for an independent investigation into the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians during an aid delivery in Gaza.

At least 117 people were killed and more than 760 injured on Thursday as they crowded around aid lorries.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the incident and said "desperate civilians" need urgent help.

Hamas accused Israel of firing at civilians, but Israel said most died in a crush after it fired warning shots.

On Thursday international criticism of Israel mounted with French President Emmanuel Macron saying civilians had been "targeted by Israeli soldiers".

The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borell, described the incident as "totally unacceptable carnage".

Reacting to the incident, Guterres wrote on social media: "I condemn Thursday's incident in Gaza in which more than 100 people were reportedly killed or injured while seeking life-saving aid."

"The desperate civilians in Gaza need urgent help, including those in the north where the UN has not been able to deliver aid in more than a week."

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry called the incident a "massacre".

The UN Security Council scheduled a closed-door emergency meeting to discuss the incident, during which Algeria - the Arab representative of the body - put forward a draft statement blaming Israeli forces for "opening fire".

While 14 of the Council's 15 members supported the motion, the US blocked it, according to AP news agency, citing the Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour who spoke to reporters afterward. US envoy Robert Wood said the facts of the incident remained unclear.

Thursday's incident took place shortly after 04:45 (02:45 GMT) at the Nabulsi roundabout, on the south-western edge of Gaza City.

A convoy of 30 lorries carrying Egyptian aid was making its way north along what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described as a "humanitarian corridor" which it said its forces were securing.

IDF's chief spokesman, Rear Adm Daniel Hagari said civilians surrounded the convoy and people began climbing on the lorries.

"Some began violently pushing and even trampling other Gazans to death, looting the humanitarian supplies," he said. "The unfortunate incident resulted in dozens of Gazans killed and injured."

Israeli tanks, he said, "cautiously tried to disperse the mob with a few warning shots" but pulled back "when the hundreds became thousands and things got out of hand".

Hamas rejected the IDF's account, citing "undeniable" evidence of "direct firing at citizens, including headshots aimed at immediate killing".

The incident came hours before Gaza's health ministry announced that more than 30,000 people, including 21,000 children and women, had been killed in Gaza since the start of the current conflict on 7 October. Some 7,000 were missing and 70,450 were injured, it said.

Gutteres added: "I am appalled by the tragic human toll of the conflict in Gaza - more than 30,000 people reportedly killed and over 70,000 injured.

"I reiterate my call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages."

The executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in the UK, Natalie Roberts, said delivering aid to a starving population without adequate security was risking disaster. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today program she said: "We know that there have been very few aid convoys in the last weeks in the north, people have been unable to get anything to eat.

"We know from our own colleagues that they're having to eat animal food, that they go without food for days on end sometimes. And so people are just completely desperate, and the minute you start trying to deliver food to the region without any sort of security for the convoy, then this was always going to happen."

The UN is warning of a looming famine in the north of the territory, where an estimated 300,000 people are living with little food or clean water. — BBC

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