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UN reports 'large number' of gunshot wounds after Gaza tragedy

Photo: Agence France-Presse A woman cries over the body of one of her relatives, killed during Israeli bombings on the night of Friday to Saturday.

Adel Zaanoun – Agence France-Presse respectively in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem

9:25 a.m.

  • Middle East

UN team says it found 'large number' of gunshot wounds at Gaza hospital after Israeli soldiers fire into crowds near humanitarian aid convoy , a drama that highlights a desperate situation in the Palestinian territory.

On Saturday, the Israeli army continued its deadly strikes against the Gaza Strip which left at least 92 dead in the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

And the United States announced its intention to join aid drops on the besieged Palestinian territory, threatened by famine and relentlessly bombed by Israel since the start of the war nearly five months against Hamas, which took power in Gaza in 2007.

On Thursday, an aid distribution in Gaza turned into tragedy after Israeli fire on a hungry crowd who rushed towards humanitarian aid trucks and a stampede that left 115 dead, according to Hamas.

A UN team went the next day to al-Chifa hospital in Gaza, which received dozens of injured people after the tragedy. They saw “a large number of gunshot wounds,” said UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric.

The international community has called for an investigation into this tragedy and an immediate ceasefire in the war triggered by a bloody attack carried out on October 7 in southern Israel by Hamas commandos infiltrated from the neighboring Gaza Strip.

Israel, which has sworn to annihilate Hamas, which it considers a terrorist organization, as well as the United States and the European Union, continued its bombings, especially in Khan Younes and Rafah in the South, according to AFP correspondents.

Among the dead on Saturday in the Israeli bombings were women and children, said the Hamas Ministry of Health, while the toll of the war in Gaza continues to rise with a total 30,320 deaths, according to the same source.

“Everyone is hungry”

Since October 7, the Israeli army has been relentlessly shelling this strip of land approximately 40 km long and 10 km wide. On October 27, its soldiers launched a ground operation in the North, which gradually extended to the South.

During Hamas' unprecedented attack in Israel on October 7, at least 1,160 people, mostly civilians, were killed, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data.

About 250 people were kidnapped. According to Israel, 130 hostages are still being held in Gaza, 31 of whom are believed to have died, after the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian detainees during a truce at the end of November.

This war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe in the Palestinian territory where 2.2 million of the 2.4 million inhabitants are threatened with famine, according to the UN.

Nearly 1.5 million Palestinians are crowding into Rafah, the vast majority displaced people trapped against the closed border with Egypt, who fear an Israeli ground offensive.

“We received two bags of flour from the aid that arrived on the day of the massacre in Gaza on Thursday,” said Hicham Abou Eïd, a 28-year-old resident of the Zeitoun neighborhood: “This is not enough . Everyone is hungry. Aid is rare and insufficient. »

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“Insist on Israel”

On Friday, US President Joe Biden announced that his country would participate “in the coming days” in humanitarian aid drops on Gaza.

Several countries have parachuted cargoes there in recent days, including Jordan with the support of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as Egypt in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates .

We will insist that Israel facilitate the entry of more trucks […] There is really not enough aid arriving in Gaza

—Joe Biden

“Airdrops cannot and must not replace humanitarian access,” nevertheless warned the NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC).

But cargoes by land, subject to the green light from Israel which has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007, only arrive in very limited quantities via Rafah from Egypt.

And their transportation, particularly in the north of the territory, is perilous due to fighting, Israeli bombings, rubble blocking roads and sometimes looting.

“We are going to press Israel to facilitate the entry of more trucks […] There is really not enough aid coming into Gaza,” Joe said Biden.

Biden cautious

“The responsibilities for blocking aid are clearly Israeli,” said the head of French diplomacy, Stéphane Séjourné, speaking of “indefensible and unjustifiable situations for which the Israelis are accountable.”

“The famine adds to the horror,” he said in an interview published Saturday.

The same day, the head of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, accused Israel of a “mass massacre of Palestinians” during Thursday's tragedy and called for an international investigation.< /p>

Israeli military operations and shortages have brought the Palestinian health system to its knees. Ten children have died of “malnutrition and dehydration” in recent days, the Hamas Ministry of Health said Friday.

The tragedy in Gaza also dealt a blow to the efforts of mediators — Qatar, the United States, Egypt — who are trying to reach a compromise on a truce associated with new releases of hostages.

Mr. Biden wanted to be cautious by repeating on Friday “hope” for a truce by Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims which begins this year on the evening of March 10 or 11.

“We’re going to get there, but we’re not there yet, and we might not get there,” he said.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116