UAE strongly condemns Israeli attack on Palestinians gathering for Gaza aid

More than 100 were killed after Israeli troops opened fire on crowds waiting for food aid in the north of the enclave

People mourn the deaths of more than 100 people, after Israeli forces opened fire on crowds at an aid distribution point, in Gaza City, on Thursday. AFP
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The UAE has strongly criticised an Israeli attack in Gaza that killed Palestinians awaiting food aid.

At least 112 people were killed when Israeli forces opened fire on the crowd on Thursday, the enclave's Health Ministry said.

"The UAE strongly condemned the targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of a gathering of thousands of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip who were waiting for humanitarian and relief aid to be delivered," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Israel claimed the deaths were caused by a crush of civilians trying to reach the convoy of 38 aid lorries.

Others were injured in the incident, including some who were run over, the Israeli military said.

An Israeli source said troops opened fire on the crowd, believing the people "posed a threat". Health authorities in Gaza condemned the "massacre" in Gaza city, saying more than 750 wee injured.

The incident drew international condemnation.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the deaths and emphassied "the need to reach an immediate ceasefire" in the conflict.

At least 100 people have died while waiting for aid in Northern Gaza

At least 100 people have died while waiting for aid in Northern Gaza

The minsitry also renewed its "demands to the international community to take a firm position to oblige Israel to respect international humanitarian law, immediately open safe humanitarian corridors, allow the evacuation of the injured, and enable the delivery of relief aid".

US President Joe Biden said the incident would complicate delicate ceasefire negotiations after almost five months of fighting, with the White House calling the deaths "tremendously alarming".

Washington will monitor an investigation into the incident closely and would be "pressing for answers", he said.

France's Foreign Ministry said "the fire by Israeli soldiers against civilians trying to access food is unjustifiable".

The deaths came as an "increasing and unbearable number of Palestinian civilians" suffer from hunger and disease, it added, saying Israel must abide by international law and protect aid deliveries to civilians.

Colombia's President Gustavo Petro denounced what he called a genocide of the Palestinian people and suspended purchases of weapons from Israel, a key supplier of his country's security forces.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the incident in Gaza and said he was "appalled by the tragic human toll of the conflict", his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"The desperate civilians in Gaza need urgent help, including those in the besieged north where the United Nations has not been able to deliver aid in more than a week," Mr Dujarric said.

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell denounced the Gaza aid deaths as "totally unacceptable". "I am horrified by news of yet another carnage among civilians in Gaza desperate for humanitarian aid," he said on X.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry condemned "in the strongest terms the heinous massacre committed by the Israeli occupation" and called for "urgent international action" to halt the fighting in Gaza.

It went on to warn that Israel's "disregard for Palestinian lives ... will ultimately undermine international efforts aimed at implementing the two-state solution, and thus pave the way for the expansion of the cycle of violence in the region".

Updated: March 01, 2024, 10:09 AM