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Israeli forces kill 104 people in Gaza waiting for aid

Medics arrived to find "dozens or hundreds" of people lying on the ground at a site believed to be distributing food.
Israeli forces kill 104 people in Gaza waiting for aid
Posted at 8:12 AM, Feb 29, 2024

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israel-Hamas war nearly five months ago, the Hamas-run health ministry and Gaza said. The surge in numbers came after witnesses said Israeli troops on Thursday fired at a crowd of people waiting for aid in Gaza City, killing scores and wounded hundreds.

At least 104 people were killed as Palestinians lined up for humanitarian assistance, said Gaza's Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra. Another 760 people were wounded, he said. 

Kamel Abu Nahel, who was being treated for a gunshot wound at Shifa Hospital, said he and others went to the distribution point in the middle of the night because they heard there would be a delivery of food.

“We’ve been eating animal feed for two months,” he said.

He said Israeli troops opened fire on the crowd, causing it to scatter, with some people hiding under nearby cars. After the shooting stopped, they went back to the trucks, and the soldiers opened fire again. He was shot in the leg and fell over, and then a truck ran over his leg as it sped off, he said.

Medics arriving at the scene on Thursday found “dozens or hundreds” lying on the ground, according to Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital. He said there were not enough ambulances to collect all the dead and wounded and that some were being brought to hospitals in donkey carts.

The war has driven 80% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million Palestinians from their homes, and U.N. officials say a quarter of the population is starving.

Gaza’s Health Ministry, which said Thursday the Palestinian death toll from the war in the territory has climbed to 30,035, with another 70,457 wounded, does not distinguish in its count between fighters and noncombatants. Israel says it has killed 10,000 militants, without providing evidence.

Israel’s air, sea and ground offensive launched in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack has caused widespread devastation in Gaza City, largely isolating it from the rest of the territory for months, with little aid entering.

SEE MORE: Images show Egypt constructing wall near Rafah border

The war has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and sparked global concern over the situation in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost town along the border with Egypt, where 1.4 million Palestinians have sought safety from Israel's daily bombardments.

The war began after Hamas-led militants stormed across southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 others hostage.

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