Gaza Medic Says 50 Killed Rushing To Aid Trucks

(AFP) — An emergency doctor in Gaza on Thursday said Israeli forces shot dead 50 people who rushed towards aid trucks, adding to a Palestinian toll that the health ministry said topped 30,000 in nearly five months of war.

The Israeli army said it was checking reports of the incident, which came as aid agencies intensified warnings over Gaza’s humanitarian situation, with famine threatening.

Gaza health ministry has since risen the death toll at aid trucks ‘massacre’ to 104.

Facing what humanitarians describe as an increasingly dire situation on the ground, mediators say a truce deal between Israel and Hamas militants could be just days away.

In a reflection of increased concern at the White House, US President Joe Biden’s administration is considering air-dropping aid into Gaza, US news site Axios reported early Thursday.

Amjad Aliwa, director of the emergency department of Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, said “the number of martyrs rose to at least 50”.

He said they died as a result of “the occupation’s shooting” at the crowd as aid trucks brought desperately needed food into the city.

Earlier, the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said children have died “due to malnutrition, dehydration and widespread famine” at Al-Shifa hospital.

US Agency for International Development head Samantha Power said Israel needed to open more crossings so that “vitally needed humanitarian assistance can be dramatically surged”.

On social media platform X, she called it “a matter of life and death”.

Before the Gaza City incident the health ministry had reported at least 79 people killed overnight Wednesday-Thursday, pushing the war’s death toll in the territory above 30,000.

World Health Organization (WFP) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged the 30,000 figure in a post on X and said: “This horrific violence and suffering must end. Ceasefire.”

The war was triggered by an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of around 1,160 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

After the attack, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas which has ruled Gaza since 2007. Israel’s military says 242 soldiers have died in Gaza since ground operations began in late October.