Israel faces mounting condemnation following killing of aid seekers in Gaza

AP , Ahram Online , Friday 1 Mar 2024

UK, China, Germany, Brazil, Turkey, and several other countries have joined Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan in condemning Israeli forces for firing on Palestinians who were waiting for the delivery of aid in northern Gaza, and killing at least 115 of them.

People mourn following an early morning incident when residents were killed while lining up for aid in Gaza City. AFP


Germany, a fervent supporter of Israel who until now had not voiced a single concern about the civilians killed by Israel in Gaza, said it is "shocked" by the killings of aid-seeking Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli forces.

“People wanted relief supplies for themselves and their families and found themselves dead,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on Twitter.

“The Israeli army must fully explain how the mass panic and shooting could have happened. My condolences go out to the families of the victims,” she added.

“In Gaza, people are closer to dying than alive. More humanitarian aid needs to come in. Immediately.”

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron joined the chorus in strongly condemning Israel's killing of Palestinians waiting for an aid convoy yesterday, describing it as "horrific."

"This must not happen again. We can’t separate what happened yesterday from the inadequate aid supplies," he said in a statement.

"Israel has an obligation to ensure that significantly more humanitarian aid reaches the people of Gaza," he added. "We have identified a series of bottlenecks that need addressing: Israel must urgently open more crossings into Gaza, eliminate obstacles, enable aid operations in Gaza, and ensure there is a robust de-confliction mechanism in place to protect ordinary Palestinians, NGOs, medics, and others providing aid."

Nevertheless, the British minister, whose country abstained from voting for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council, didn't call for a ceasefire either, but only for "an immediate humanitarian pause."

Starvation as a weapon

Brazil has condemned the killings affirming that Israel’s military operation has no “ethical or legal limits.”

“Humanity is failing the civilians of Gaza. And it’s time to prevent further massacres,” Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry also “strongly condemns the deliberate killing of dozens of defenceless Palestinian civilians and the wounding of hundreds."

In a statement posted on X, the ministry said the incident fell “within the framework of the policy of mass starvation and extermination of the Palestinian people, which drives them to despair and adds fuel to the fire."

This “lowers the chances of a just and comprehensive peace” being achieved, it said

It also called for an end to this “absurd war that increases extremism and hatred” and for the establishment of an international investigation committee to determine the responsibilities for Thursday’s attack and ensure accountability.

"The UAE strongly condemned the targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of a gathering of thousands of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip," the Emirati foreign ministry said. 

Turkey also denounced the Israeli attack as “yet another crime against humanity.”

In a statement issued late Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Israel of using “starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza” and alleged that the latest event, which left more than 100 people dead, was evidence “of Israel’s intention to destroy the entire Palestinian population.”

“The entire world must realise that the atrocity in Gaza is about to become a global catastrophe with repercussions far beyond the region,” the ministry said. “We therefore call on all those with influence over the Israeli government to stop the ongoing violence in Gaza.”

At the same time, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said "China is shocked by this incident and strongly condemns it."

Israeli occupation soldiers fired on a crowd of Palestinians racing to pull food off an aid convoy in Gaza City on Thursday.

The Health Ministry says more than 112 people were killed and at least 700 wounded in the Israeli attack.


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