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The US blocked the proposal

US blocks Security Council resolution blaming Israel for deadly Gaza aid attack

4 Mar 2024,

Amid US opposition, Arab nations on Thursday failed to get immediate support for a UN Security Council statement that would blame Israeli forces for more than 100 reported deaths as Palestinians in northern Gaza flock to aid convoys.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, told reporters after an emergency closed-door council meeting on the deaths that 14 of the 15 council members supported the statement made by Algeria, the Arab representative to the body.

Algeria's draft statement expressed "deep concern" and said the situation was due to "the opening of fire by Israeli forces."
The United States did not support the statement, and deputy US ambassador Robert Wood told reporters: “The parties are working on some language to see if we can come to a statement.

"The problem is we don't have all the facts here," he said, adding that he wanted the wording to reflect "the necessary due diligence on guilt."

Hamas blamed the Israel Defense Forces for 104 deaths reported in the early hours of the morning. The army said it did not fire on the crowd that rushed the main convoy of aid trucks that entered northern Gaza early Thursday morning. He acknowledged that troops opened fire on several Gazans who moved toward soldiers and a tank at an IDF checkpoint, endangering the soldiers. He claimed that most people had been killed in rioting and claimed that fewer than 10 of the casualties were the result of Israeli fire.

Mansour said he met earlier in the day with US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

"I pleaded with her that the Security Council should produce a product condemning this killing and go after those responsible for this massacre," he said.

If the Security Council has "spine and determination to put an end to these massacres so they don't happen again, what we need is a ceasefire," Mansour said.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that the deaths require an effective independent investigation.

Speaking in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines ahead of a regional summit, Guterres said he was "shocked" by the latest episode in the Israel-Hamas war.

Guterres said worsening geopolitical differences "transformed the right of veto into an effective instrument to paralyze the action of the Security Council."

"I am absolutely convinced that we need a humanitarian ceasefire and we need the unconditional and immediate release of the hostages and that we need to have a Security Council capable of achieving these goals," Guterres said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talks about his priorities for 2024 during a press briefing at UN headquarters on February 8, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP)
France also wanted an independent investigation, Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said on Friday. "We will ask for an explanation and an independent investigation will have to be carried out to find out what happened," Cezjourn told France Inter broadcaster.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Israel "must fully investigate how the mass panic and shooting could have happened."

The White House said Thursday that the incident in Gaza City was "extremely troubling" as Israel shared drone footage of troops trying to disperse the swelling mob, denying responsibility for the mass deaths amid international criticism of attack on Gaza.

The violence was quickly condemned by Arab countries. US President Joe Biden held talks about the incident with the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, as well as ways to secure the release of about 130 hostages held by Hamas since October 7 and a six-week ceasefire in the war.

Both the White House and the State Department expressed their horror at what happened and said they would demand answers from Israel.

"This latest incident needs to be thoroughly investigated," White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton told reporters on Air Force One. "This event underscores the need for ... expanded humanitarian aid to reach Gaza."

The IDF released drone video showing thousands of people flocking around aid trucks as they arrived in the area in northern Gaza. In some cases, vehicles continued to try to cut through the crowds.

The military acknowledged that troops opened fire on several Gazans who moved toward soldiers and a tank at an IDF checkpoint, endangering the soldiers, after rushing the last truck of the convoy further south.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller expressed condolences for the dead and said Washington asked Israel to provide answers and ensure the safe delivery of aid.
We have been in contact with the Israeli government since early this morning and understand that an investigation is underway. We will closely monitor this investigation and press for answers," he said, calling on Israel to allow "as many access points as possible and to allow the safe and secure distribution of this aid throughout Gaza."

The IDF has coordinated several aid deliveries to northern Gaza in recent weeks, although this has been larger than usual. He said that he will now look for a solution to prevent such incidents from happening again and that he is conducting investigations into the incident.

The US spokesman said the rush for aid showed the situation was "incredibly desperate" in Gaza, where the United Nations has warned of the risk of famine. "People flock to these trucks because they are hungry, because they need food, because they need medicine and other help," he said.

Speaking in English at a press conference Thursday afternoon, IDF spokesman Vice Admiral Daniel Hagari said troops fired warning shots in an attempt to disperse the mob of Palestinians.

“As these vital humanitarian supplies were headed to Gazans in need, thousands of Gazans [rushed] the trucks, some violently pushing and trampling other Gazans to death, looting the humanitarian supplies.

"No IDF strike was carried out against the aid convoy," Hagari said. "Instead, the IDF was conducting a humanitarian aid operation, to secure the humanitarian corridor and allow the aid convoy to reach its distribution point, so that the humanitarian aid could reach the Gazan civilians in the north who are in need. "

The IDF spokesman denied that Israel was blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid. “This humanitarian aid was coordinated by Israel, for the people of Gaza. We want the aid to reach the people of Gaza. We are working around the clock to make this happen. Israel puts no limits on the amount of aid that can go to Gaza,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan accused Israel of targeting civilians in the incident. In separate statements, they called for increased safe passage for humanitarian aid. They also called on the international community to take decisive action to pressure Israel to comply with international law and reach an agreement on an immediate ceasefire.

A statement from Turkey accused Israel of adding "another crime to its crimes against humanity".

France's Foreign Ministry also condemned Israel, saying "fire by Israeli soldiers against civilians trying to access food is unjustified."

Writing on social media platform X that Palestinian "civilians have been targeted by Israeli soldiers", French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "strongest condemnation" of the killings.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez called the deaths "unacceptable" and said they underlined "the urgent need for a ceasefire".

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell similarly denounced the deaths as "totally unacceptable".

Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced his government had suspended arms purchases from Israel, calling the deadly incident a "genocide" and blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the violence. His statement came months after Israel suspended security exports to Colombia in a diplomatic row over online messages by Petro that compared Israel's military response to Hamas' October 7 atrocities to the actions of Nazi Germany.

The incident came amid growing international concerns about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the difficulties of providing aid to more than 2 million people involved in a war that began when the Palestinian terror group Hamas carried out a massive attack on October 7 in Israel. , killing about 1.200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 253 hostages.

Gaza City and the rest of northern Gaza were the first targets of Israel's air, sea and ground assault. The region has suffered widespread devastation and has been largely isolated from the rest of the territory for months, with little aid and most of the population evacuated to the south.

Aid groups say it has become almost impossible to deliver humanitarian aid to most of Gaza due to ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order. The UN says a quarter of Gaza's Palestinians face starvation. about 80% have left their homes.

 AP24056638192953 640x400 1

Palestinians wait for humanitarian aid on a beachfront in Gaza City, February 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Essa) 

 main photo: People mourn following a deadly incident when residents rushed towards aid trucks in Gaza City on February 29, 2024. (AFP)

Editorial team: Margarita Antoniou, Alexandros Katranis, Stefanos Lazaridis, Vasiliki Skara, Bill Stamos, Georgia Chronopoulou[1]

[1] The Weekly Update on Greek and International Developments (EWDE) is compiled under the responsibility of the Editorial Team and does not express the views of Greek news fl 

The articles we publish do not necessarily reflect our views and are not binding on their authors. Their publication has to do not with whether we agree with the positions they adopt, but with whether we consider them interesting for our readers.

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