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Updated March 1st, 2024 at 16:10 IST

Palestine's UN Envoy Condemns 'Outrageous Massacre' in Gaza As 112 People Killed

Israeli military spokesman claimed that the troops opened fire "in self-defense" after Gazans attacked and looted aid trucks.

Gaza Palestine Israel
Palestinians look for survivors following Israeli airstrike in Nusseirat refugee camp, Gaza Strip. | Image:AP
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A Palestinian envoy to the United Nations on Thursday strongly condemned the killing of more than 100 Palestinians in an Israeli attack in northern Gaza, describing the incident as an "outrageous massacre". At least 112 people were reportedly killed and more than 750 others injured after Israeli soldiers and tanks fired on a crowd of thousands waiting for desperately needed food assistance on Thursday, according to Palestinian medical and security sources.

Speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters, Riyad H. Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, said that the Israeli army intentionally attacked desperate civilians, and that dozens of those killed had been shot in the head. "We condemned in the strongest possible terms this heinous massacre against our people. According to the information that we have, dozens of them have bullets in their heads. It's not like firing in the sky to restrain people, if there was confusions and chaos. It was intentionally targeting and killing. And the number that we have now is [that] 112 have been killed -- and the number is increasing -- and 750 injured, and possibly the number would be increasing. This outrageous massacre is a testimony to the fact that as long as the Security Council is paralyzed and vetoes casted, then it is costing the Palestinian people their lives," said Mansour.

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"There is no way except a ceasefire to be put in place. And even I said to the ambassador of the United States that 'there is nothing that can prevent you if you have clout over Israel. Have a unilateral ceasefire put in place for as long as you want. You don't need a resolution in the Security Council'," he also said.

Following the incident, an Israeli military spokesman claimed that the troops opened fire "in self-defense" after Gazans attacked and looted aid trucks that had entered the Gaza Strip on early Thursday morning. He said dozens of Gazans were injured in the chaos, some by being crushed or trampled. He also said that some Gazans approached the soldiers in what was described as "a threatening manner," prompting them to respond with live fire.

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Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) threatened to stop its truce negotiations with Israel as a response to the incident. Hamas said in a press statement that the negotiations are not an open process, and they won't allow the path of negotiations to be a cover for the enemy's continued crimes against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday condemned the killing of civilians in the incident. Guterres reiterates his call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages. The secretary-general once again calls for urgent steps so that critical humanitarian aid can get into and across Gaza to all those in need.

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Published March 1st, 2024 at 16:10 IST

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