Dozens Killed Around Aid Convoy in Gaza

( – A Hamas spokesman has claimed that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) fired on a group of Gazans waiting for humanitarian aid. Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a Health Ministry representative, said around 100 people died in the attack, but Israel said trucks were surrounded by crowds, causing some people to be crushed and trampled upon. Its troops fired warning shots only, an IDF spokesman said.

Subsequent reports suggest the death toll was 112, with more than 750 people injured. The UN Security Council held a closed-door meeting to discuss the incident, where Algeria put forward a statement blaming Israel for “opening fire.” The United States blocked the passage of the motion, but 14 of the 15 nations involved gave it their backing. US envoy Robert Wood said the facts of the incident were unclear.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the incident while stopping short of accusing Israel of firing on the crowd. “The desperate civilians in Gaza need urgent help,” he added.

Hamas said the death toll would jeopardize upcoming talks brokered by Qatar and aimed at bringing about a ceasefire and negotiating the release of the remaining Israeli hostages. When asked if he agreed that the discussions could be damaged, President Biden said, “I know they will.”

European leaders have called for a full investigation into the incident, with European Council President Charles Michel saying he was “shocked and repulsed” by the killing of innocent civilians. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was deeply disturbed by the news, while French President Emmanuel Macron placed the blame firmly on the IDF. Macron said Israeli troops had “targeted” civilians and called for an inquiry.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller stated that the American government is urgently seeking more information and clarification about what took place.

Hamas claims that around 30,000 people have died since the conflict erupted last October, and analysts say Israel is under growing and intense pressure to agree to a ceasefire.

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