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Israeli troops open fire on Palestinians waiting for aid, as death toll passes 30,000

ISRAELI troops opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City today, killing more than 100 people. 

The atrocity brought the death toll since the start of the Israel-Gaza war to more than 30,000, according to health officials.

Hospital officials initially reported an Israeli strike on the crowd, but witnesses later said that troops had opened fire as people pulled flour and canned goods off lorries.

The Israeli military declined to provide an on-the-record statement about troops’ role in the incident.

Gaza City and the surrounding areas have suffered widespread devastation and been largely isolated during the conflict.

Aid groups say it has become nearly impossible to deliver humanitarian assistance in most of the Gaza Strip because of the difficulty of co-ordinating with the Israeli military, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order, with crowds of desperately hungry people overwhelming aid convoys.

The United Nations says a quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians face starvation.

Kamel Abu Nahel said that he and others had gone to the distribution point because they heard there would be a delivery of food.

“We’ve been eating animal feed for two months,” he said.

He said Israeli troops had opened fire on the crowd, causing it to scatter, with some people hiding under cars. 

After the shooting stopped, they went back to the lorries and the soldiers opened fire again. He was shot in the leg and fell over and then a lorry ran over his leg as it sped off, he said.

Medics arriving at the scene found “dozens or hundreds” lying on the ground, according to Fares Afana, head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan hospital. 

He said there were not enough ambulances to collect all the dead and wounded and that some were being brought to hospitals on donkey carts.

At least 104 people were killed and some 760 wounded, Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said. 

Separately, the Health Ministry said that the Palestinian death toll from the war had reached 30,035, with women and children accounting for roughly two-thirds of the victims. Another 70,457 have been wounded. 

Israel’s killing spree in Gaza began after a Hamas attack on October 7 left 1,200 people dead and around 250 taken hostage.  

Hamas and other militant groups are still holding some 100 hostages and the remains of about 30 more, after releasing most of the other captives during a late November ceasefire.

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