UN relief chief 'appalled' after Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians in Gaza

UN relief chief 'appalled' after Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians in Gaza

'Life is draining out of Gaza at terrifying speed,' warns Martin Griffiths

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - UN Humanitarian Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said Thursday he is "appalled" after Israeli forces opened fire on malnourished Palestinians waiting for an aid delivery in the besieged Gaza Strip.

"Even after close to five months of brutal hostilities, Gaza still has the ability to shock us," Griffiths said in a statement after more than 100 people were killed and over 700 others injured near Gaza City.

"I'm appalled at the reported killing and injury of hundreds of people during a transfer of aid supplies west of Gaza City today. This comes as the death toll across Gaza since October 7 hits the 30,000 mark. Life is draining out of Gaza at terrifying speed," he added.

Early Thursday, Israeli forces shelled a crowd of Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid south of Gaza City at the "al-Nabulsi Roundabout" area, leaving at least 104 dead and 760 injured, according to the Gaza-based Health Ministry.

The Israeli military said an initial investigation found that Palestinians approached a military checkpoint overseeing the entry of the aid trucks with soldiers firing warning shots and shooting at the legs of Palestinians who continued to move toward the troops.

Israel has launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack led by Hamas in which less than 1,200 people were killed.

At least 30,035 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, and 70,457 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.
Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the coastal enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents in the north where the shootings on Thursday took place, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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