White House says Israeli forces opening fire on Palestinians waiting for aid is 'serious incident'

White House says Israeli forces opening fire on Palestinians waiting for aid is 'serious incident'

'We mourn loss of innocent life, recognize dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where innocent Palestinians are just trying to feed their families,' says National Security Council spokesperson

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The White House said Thursday that Israeli forces opening fire on Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid south of Gaza City is a "serious incident" after more than 100 people were killed and over 700 others injured.

A National Security Council spokesperson told Anadolu that the White House is "looking into the reports" while acknowledging the "loss of innocent life."

"We mourn the loss of innocent life and recognize the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where innocent Palestinians are just trying to feed their families," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

"This underscores the importance of expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including through a potential temporary ceasefire. We continue to work day and night to achieve that outcome," the spokesperson added.

On Thursday morning, 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 Palestinians dead and 760 others injured, according to the Gaza-based Health Ministry.

The Israeli military said an initial investigation found that some 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, 2023 cross-border attack led by Hamas, in which nearly 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 Gaza, leaving its population, particularly residents in the north where the Thursday shootings 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 stands 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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