Majority of injured in shooting of aid convoy ‘struck by gunfire’

ISRAELI STRIKE VICTIMS. Palestinians wounded in an Israeli strike while waiting for humanitarian aid on the beach in Gaza City are treated in Shifa Hospital on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. /
ISRAELI STRIKE VICTIMS. Palestinians wounded in an Israeli strike while waiting for humanitarian aid on the beach in Gaza City are treated in Shifa Hospital on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. / AP

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — The head of a Gaza City hospital that treated some of the Palestinians wounded in the bloodshed surrounding an aid convoy said Friday, March 1, 2024, that more than 80 percent had been struck by gunfire, suggesting there was heavy shooting by Israeli troops.

Over 800 casualties

At least 115 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 others injured Thursday, Feb. 29, according to health officials, when witnesses said nearby Israeli troops opened fire as huge crowds raced to pull goods off an aid convoy.

Israel said many of the dead were trampled in a crowd surge that started when desperate Palestinians in Gaza rushed the aid trucks. Israel said its troops fired warning shots after the crowd moved toward them in a threatening way.

Dr. Mohammed Salha, the acting director of Al-Awda Hospital, told The Associated Press that of the 176 wounded brought to the facility, 142 had gunshot wounds and the other 34 showed injuries from

a stampede. He couldn’t address the cause of death of those killed, because the bodies were taken to government-run hospitals to be counted.

Dr. Husam Abu Safyia, director of Kamal Adwan Hospital, said the majority of the injured taken there had gunshot wounds in the upper part of their bodies, and many of the deaths were from gunshots to the head, neck or chest.

Crippled

The bloodshed underscored how the chaos of Israel’s almost five-month-old offensive has crippled the effort to bring aid to Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, a quarter of whom the United Nations (UN) says face starvation.

The UN and other aid groups have been pleading for safe corridors for aid convoys, saying it has become nearly impossible to deliver supplies in most of Gaza because of the difficulty of coordinating with the Israeli military, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order, including crowds of desperate people who overwhelm aid convoys.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and several European leaders have called for an independent, credible investigation into what happened. / AP

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