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Home CNN More than 100 killed as Israeli forces open fire in chaos at Gaza food lines, Palestinian health ministry says

More than 100 killed as Israeli forces open fire in chaos at Gaza food lines, Palestinian health ministry says

by Chanel Rowe
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Originally Published: 29 FEB 24 08:06 ET

Updated: 29 FEB 24 09:49 ET

By Abeer Salman and Jeremy Diamond, CNN

(CNN) — At least 104 people were killed and 760 injured in a chaotic incident where Israeli troops opened fire as hungry Palestinian civilians were gathering around food aid trucks, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

CNN is unable to independently confirm these numbers.

People had swarmed around newly arrived aid trucks in the hope of getting food, when Israeli tanks and drones started shooting at the people in Haroun Al Rasheed Street in western Gaza City, in the Sheikh Ajleen area.

“Most” of the casualties were the result of aid trucks ramming people as everyone tried to escape Israeli fire, according to a local journalist in Gaza, Khadeer Al Za’anoun.

Al Za’anoun, who was at the scene and witnessed the incident, told that, though there were large crowds waiting for food to be distributed from aid trucks, the chaos and confusion which led to trampling only started once Israeli soldiers opened fire.

The tragedy comes as the death toll in the Gaza war surpasses 30,000, more than a half a million people in Gaza are on the brink of famine, United Nations agencies say, and as negotiations between Israel and Hamas reach a potentially pivotal moment.

An Israeli official told CNN the Israel Defense Forces did use live fire on people surrounding aid trucks as “the crowd approached the forces in a manner that posed a threat to the troops, who responded to the threat with live fire. The incident is under review.”

The death toll and number of injured is expected to increase as many bodies and people are still out on the street, with ambulances struggling to reach those in need because rubble is blocking the way, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent, Ahmad Abu Al Foul, told CNN.

Drone footage taken by the IDF shows large crowds of Palestinians gathering around the aid trucks.

“Early this morning, during the entry of humanitarian aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip, Gazan residents surrounded the trucks, and looted the supplies being delivered. During the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling,” the IDF told CNN.

A senior Hamas member Ezzat Al-Risheq warned that the killings on Thursday could lead to the failure of ongoing talks aiming at the release of hostages and a ceasefire.

“Negotiations are not an open process,” he said in a statement published by Hamas on Telegram. “We will not allow for the pathway of the negotiations…[to become] a cover for the enemy’s continued crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip.”

Oxfam International condemned the attack in a post on X, formerly Twitter, writing: “Oxfam is appalled by reports of killing people in #Gaza waiting for food aid. Israel deliberately targeting civilians after starving them is a gross violation of international humanitarian laws and our humanity.”

The incident comes as the death toll for those killed in Gaza since Hamas’ October 7 attacks passed 30,000.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Kamal Adwan hospital

**This image is for use with this specific article only** Injured Palestinians are brought to Kamal Adwan hospital for medical treatment after the carnage at a food line.

Karam Hassan/Anadolu/Getty Images via CNN Newsource

29 Feb 24

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