AU chief condemns Israel 'mass killing of Palestinians' seeking aid

AFP , Saturday 2 Mar 2024

African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat on Saturday condemned "the mass killing of Palestinians" by the Israeli army and urged an international probe after dozens of Palestinians seeking aid were killed in cold blood as they raced to get food supplies off an aid convoy in northern Gaza.

Men carry the bodies of people killed by the Israeli army when Palestinian civilians rushed toward aid trucks in Gaza City. AFP


"Mahamat strongly condemns an attack by Israeli forces, that killed and wounded more than 100 Palestinians seeking life-saving humanitarian aid," the bloc said in a statement dated Friday but posted on X on Saturday.

"The Chairperson calls for an international investigation into the incident to bring the perpetrators to account," the statement said, urging "an immediate and unconditional ceasefire".

Israeli troops shot dead 116 people and injured at least 750 others when thousands of Palestinian civilians facing starvation raced to get food supplies off an aid convoy in Gaza City.

The Israeli attack came after a World Food Programme official had warned: "If nothing changes, a famine is imminent in northern Gaza."

An Israeli source acknowledged troops had opened fire on Palestinian civilians in what the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza described as a "massacre."

World leaders have called for an investigation, with President Joe Biden saying Friday that the United States would start delivering relief supplies into Gaza via air drops -- as some of its allies have already -- in a bid to get aid into hard-to-reach areas under siege by Israel.

The Israeli aid convoy massacre has pushed the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza to 30,228, mostly women and children, according to the latest health ministry toll.

Israel's military says 242 soldiers have died in Gaza during clashes with Palestinian resistance fighters since the Israeli ground invasion began in late October.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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