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GAZA: People mourn at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, over the bodies of Palestinians killed in an early morning incident when residents rushed toward aid trucks in Gaza City on February 29, 2024. (Right)  This image grab from a handout video shows what the army says are Gazans around aid trucks in Gaza City. Zionist forces shot dead 104 people when a crowd rushed towards aid trucks on February 29.- AFP
GAZA: People mourn at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, over the bodies of Palestinians killed in an early morning incident when residents rushed toward aid trucks in Gaza City on February 29, 2024. (Right) This image grab from a handout video shows what the army says are Gazans around aid trucks in Gaza City. Zionist forces shot dead 104 people when a crowd rushed towards aid trucks on February 29.- AFP
104 Palestinians massacred
Kuwait condemns Gaza genocide; Zionist troops fire at the crowd

GAZA: Zionist forces shot dead 104 people when a crowd rushed towards aid trucks on Thursday, the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said, in one of the worst single incidents of a nearly five-month war. More than 750 people were also hurt in the incident, the ministry said. It came after aid agencies had intensified warnings over Gaza’s humanitarian situation, with famine threatening particularly in Gaza’s north.

Looting of aid trucks had previously occurred in northern Gaza, where residents have taken to eating animal fodder and even leaves to try to stave off hunger. Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said hundreds were killed and wounded from “bullets of the occupation forces that targeted a gathering of citizens” at Gaza City’s Nabulsi roundabout. He called it a “massacre”. A witness told AFP that “thousands of people” had “just stormed the trucks”, which were near army tanks. “The soldiers fired at the crowd as people came too close to the tanks,” the witness said, declining to be named for safety reasons.

Zionist sources confirmed that troops opened fire at Palestinians rushing toward aid trucks in Gaza, with one saying soldiers thought they “posed a threat” to troops. A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, however, said many of the dead were crushed by the trucks themselves, after “aid trucks were overwhelmed by people trying to loot”.

The Gaza City shooting adds to a Palestinian death toll from the war which the health ministry earlier Thursday said had topped 30,000.  It came after mediators said a truce deal between Zionists and Hamas militants could be just days away. In a reflection of increased concern at the White House, President Joe Biden’s administration is considering air-dropping aid into Gaza, US news site Axios reported early Thursday.

Towards ‘the finish line’

Military says 242 soldiers have died in Gaza since ground operations began in late October. New Zealand on Thursday became one of the latest Western countries to designate Hamas as a “terrorist” entity, saying the October 7 attack shattered the notion that the movement’s political and military wings are separate. Mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the United States have been seeking a six-week pause in the war.

Negotiators hope a truce can begin by around March 10 or 11 when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, depending on the lunar calendar. The proposals reportedly include the release of some hostages held in Gaza by militants in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians held in Zionist prisons. Short of the complete withdrawal Hamas has called for, a source from the group said the deal might see Zionist forces leave “cities and populated areas”, allowing the return of some displaced Palestinians and humanitarian relief. Biden is “pushing all of us to try to get this agreement over the finish line”, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Famine ‘imminent’

The United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA described the food security situation as “extremely critical across Gaza, particularly in northern Gaza.” According to the World Food Program (WFP), no humanitarian group had been able to deliver aid to the north for more than a month. The agency accused Zionists of blocking access. “If nothing changes, a famine is imminent in northern Gaza,” WFP’s deputy executive director Carl Skau said.

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Zionist officials have denied blocking supplies. With aid flows on the ground limited, more is coming in by parachute. Neighboring Jordan said it had on Thursday again air-dropped food and other relief. Jordan’s army said the drop over northern Gaza came in collaboration with Bahrain and Oman. The United Arab Emirates’ official news agency WAM said the Gulf country had begun a joint operation with Egypt to drop food and medical aid.

The operation would last several weeks, it said.

In the south, nearly 1.5 million people trying to flee the fighting are now packed into Rafah city, also short of food, as Zionists threaten to send in troops against Hamas fighters there. “They are 30,000 martyrs. I don’t know what (Zionists) want from us, and why they killed this number. It is a genocide,” said Jihad Salha, one of the displaced in Rafah. Intense fighting has taken place in Khan Yunis city a few kilometers from Rafah.

On Thursday Zionist military said it had also killed militants in central Gaza as well as in Gaza City’s Zeitun area. “Three terrorists that used drones were identified entering a compound in the area, where they were eliminated” by an air strike, the military said. While fighting continued, Muhammad Yassin, 35, battled to find flour in Zeitun. “I found thousands of people waiting for long hours just to get a kilo or two kilos of flour,” he said. “We have not eaten a loaf of bread for two months. Our children are starving.”

Meeting in Moscow

Talk about Gaza’s post-war future has intensified even as combat continues. On Thursday, Palestinian factions—including Hamas and rival Fatah—were expected in Moscow for a meeting at Russia’s invitation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—who leads a coalition which includes religious and ultra-nationalist parties—has come under increasing pressure to bring the remaining hostages home. A group of 150 people have started a four-day march from Reim, near the Gaza border, to Jerusalem, calling for the government to reach a deal. In another reflection of political tensions within Zionist entity, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for members of the ultra-Orthodox community to be enrolled in military service.

Gaza genocide

Kuwait condemned, Thursday, the genocide taking place and war crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza by the occupation, with more than 30,000 killed and 70,000 injured or missing. Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Nasser Al-Hain; addressing to the UN Human Rights Council, emphasized Kuwait’s role in advocating before the International Court of Justice on behalf of Palestine regarding the occupation’s criminal practices, including the bombardment of Rafah City, southern Gaza. He deemed “disgrace” what is happening in Gaza and warning against its continuation, while underscoring Kuwait’s role in stopping the brutality against innocent Palestinians who have endured atrocities for 75 years.

Al-Hain also condemned the double standards of this humanitarian crisis, questioning the global conscience and human rights vis-a-vis genocide in Gaza. Ambassador Al-Hain added that cessation of funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has worsened the humanitarian situation for nearly 5.7 million Palestinian refugees. He reiterated Kuwait’s commitment in supporting the Palestinian cause, urging the international community to put an end to the genocide in Gaza. – Agencies

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