Sat 13-April-2024

Euro-Med: Israel escalates killing of starving people in western Gaza

Thursday 29-February-2024

GENEVA, (PIC)

The Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights reported that Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened artillery fire and machineguns at thousands of Palestinian civilians who were waiting for aid in southwestern Gaza, killing and injuring hundreds of them.

The Euro-Med Monitor added that its field team documented the bloody massacre when Israeli tanks fired shells and live ammunition at thousands of starving civilians who had been waiting for hours for aid trucks to arrive near Al-Nablusi Roundabout on Rashid Street, southwest of Gaza.

It confirmed that the shelling and gunfire targeted Palestinian civilians as soon as the trucks carrying the aid arrived, and dozens were killed while trying to climb onto the trucks to take a bag of flour. Dozens of others were targeted while carrying bags of flour or boxes of canned food to feed their starving families.

A researcher from the Euro-Med Monitor at Al-Shifa Hospital said that hundreds of injured and martyrs were brought to the partially functioning hospital, emphasizing that there were no enough medical teams and there was a great deal of congestion. Citizens had to deal with the wounded and attempt to provide first aid in a catastrophic and painful situation.

The Euro-Med Monitor said that hundreds of martyrs and injured arrived in donkey-drawn carts, some of them carrying bags of flour mixed with blood.

The Monitor quoted one of the survivals of the massacre, Sa’id Al-Rifi, as saying, “We went to receive aid and get flour by the sea. They (IOF) opened fire at us at 4:30 a.m. today, as soon as the trucks arrived and people started moving towards them, gunfire started from everywhere. It turned into a massacre. If they were going to shoot at us, why did they shoot at us from several directions? It’s an injustice that is happening. I got a bag of flour to feed my family of 11 members, and my companion was killed. I have been waiting since 2 p.m. yesterday until 6 a.m. today.”

Another citizen, Anas Abdel-Aal, said, “We arrived at Al-Nablusi Roundabout, and as soon as the trucks entered, the tanks started firing (at us). For every 10 people, one received aid. Many people were killed or injured while carrying bags of flour or crates of canned food. The firing was directed at the trucks and their surroundings after the citizens reached them. The trucks became loaded with the dead and injured.”

The Euro-Med Monitor charged that the mass killings of starving civilians come at a time when the Israeli army continues its attempts to empty Gaza and its northern areas of the remaining population by sending them messages that aid is only available in the Mawasi area (in southern Gaza), and by continuing to starve them and use starvation as a weapon in the bloody war.

The Monitor warned that Israel is deliberately deepening the catastrophic hunger crisis for all the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip by depriving them of essential supplies to sustain their lives, and by preventing and obstructing the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid, especially in the city of Gaza and the northern areas of the Strip, with the aim of forcing the population to migrate from their areas, within the framework of the ongoing genocide in the Strip since October 7th of last year.

It documented testimonies from residents of Gaza City and its northern areas regarding receiving phone calls from the Israeli army in the past few days, clearly and explicitly demanding them to evacuate to the central and southern areas of the Gaza Strip in order to obtain food, water, and avoid dying of hunger.

According to the testimonies, the recorded messages received by the residents mentioned that the Israeli army is still operating forcefully in their areas while allowing the entry of humanitarian aid into the Mawasi area in the southern part of the Strip, urging them to head to that area to receive aid.

According to the Euro-Med Monitor, the humanitarian supplies that entered the Gaza Strip in February have decreased by 50% compared to January, despite the increasing enormous needs of more than 2.3 million people living in dire living conditions.

The Monitor highlighted the continued decline in the pace of entering humanitarian aid trucks, undermining their protection mechanisms and distribution methods. This is a key tool used by Israel to deliberately subject the Palestinians in the Strip to living conditions intended to effectively destroy them, as well as to complete its plans to empty the city of Gaza and the northern areas of the Strip from their inhabitants and force them to forcibly migrate southward under the pressure of military attacks, threats, starvation policies, and keeping aid levels disproportionately low compared to the enormous needs.

The Monitor held the United Nations and the international community responsible for their failure so far to ensure appropriate mechanisms for the entry of humanitarian aid to relieve the starving, emphasizing that they bear responsibility for complicity in the killing and starvation operations that target hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The Euro-Med Monitor called on all countries to open a direct air bridge to the Gaza Strip, and to carry out intensive and daily airdrops that cover all areas of the Strip, especially Gaza City and the northern areas, and to participate in confronting and protecting against Israeli plans aimed at the forced displacement of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. This is a matter that countries, especially neighboring Arab countries, have been continuously warning against since the beginning of the Israeli military aggression on the enclave.

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