IDF says troops fired at ‘suspects’ but denies targeting convoy in deadly food aid incident


The Israeli military has said its investigation into last month’s deadly humanitarian aid incident in Gaza found that Israeli forces did not fire at the aid convoy, but at “a number of suspects” who were approaching nearby forces and posing a threat. Palestinian authorities.

More than 100 people were killed in the incident in northern Gaza, which has become known as the “Flour Massacre,” when Israeli forces opened fire near civilians gathered around food aid trucks, causing panic.

A local journalist in Gaza, Khader Al Za’anoun, who was on the scene and witnessed the incident, said at the time that the chaos and confusion only began when Israeli forces opened fire, and that many of the victims were run over by trucks . in the ensuing panic.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said at least 118 people were killed and more than 700 injured, making it one of the deadliest incidents since the start of the war in Gaza. CNN cannot independently confirm the figures.

“The command assessment revealed that IDF forces did not fire at the humanitarian convoy, but did fire at a number of suspects who were approaching nearby forces and posing a threat to them,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a summary of the report. released Friday.

Reuters TV

Palestinians transport victims after last month’s tragedy.

The IDF said thousands of Palestinians surrounded aid trucks heading to distribution centers and looted the trucks’ equipment. They added that “incidents of significant harm” occurred to civilians due to stampedes and being run over by trucks.

The IDF said that during the crowds, dozens of Palestinians “advanced toward nearby IDF forces, up to several meters away from them, thereby posing a real threat to the forces at that point.”

“At this stage the troops fired warning fire to keep the suspects at bay. As the suspects continued to advance toward them, the troops fired precisely at some of the suspects to eliminate the threat,” the IDF summary said.

The United Nations previously said most of the civilians injured in the incident suffered from gunshot wounds. The international body could not establish the same for the deceased.

UN experts earlier this week condemned the incident as a “massacre” and called on Israel to ease strict restrictions on food aid entering Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people face the prospect of famine.

And Friday’s findings were quickly dismissed by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, which claimed the Israeli investigation represented “the same old formality aimed at exonerating the occupying army and destroying the evidence.”

Israel “always lies and covers up its soldiers to protect them from liability and prosecution,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Palestinian ministry said the international community should call in an independent international investigative commission, adding that “the defendants cannot conduct investigations themselves.”

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