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Israel-Hamas war: Dozens killed in attack on crowd waiting for aid, Gaza health officials say

More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

What we know

  • Israeli forces fired on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City. At least 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the enclave’s Health Ministry, said today. NBC News has not independently verified the reported death toll, and it’s not clear how many people were killed from gunfire or the ensuing panic. The Israeli military said that civilians surrounded an aid truck, causing pushing and trampling, and that it was reviewing the incident. An Israeli government source said Israel Defense Forces troops responded with “live fire” after people surrounded trucks carrying humanitarian aid.
  • President Joe Biden said he knew the incident would complicate cease-fire talks. Meanwhile, Biden held calls this morning with the emir of Qatar and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.
  • The Biden administration is considering airdropping aid into Gaza, a U.S. official told NBC News, given the dire need for humanitarian assistance and the slower pace of land deliveries. Food aid entered the north of the strip for the first time in weeks yesterday, with fears of an imminent famine mounting.
  • More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. More than 70,300 have been injured, and thousands more are missing and presumed dead. Israeli military officials said at least 242 soldiers have been killed since the ground invasion of Gaza began.
  • A group of Israelis, led by families of hostages still held in Gaza, have embarked on a four-day march to Jerusalem to demand that their loved ones be released.

Palestinian foreign ministry asks World Court to step in after deadly aid convoy chaos

The Palestinian foreign ministry issued a statement asking the International Court of Justice to "issue subpoenas and arrest warrants" following the deaths of civilians who were awaiting aid in northern Gaza today.

Israel's military said it was bringing in a convoy with aid when a group surrounded the trucks and troops "fired" at crowds. IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari later denied that civilians were attacked from the air or the ground, saying tanks issued "warning shots" and attempted to retreat.

Gaza's Health Ministry said more than 100 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured. NBC News has not independently verified the reported death toll, and it’s not clear how many were killed from gunfire or the ensuing panic.

The Palestinian foreign ministry accused Israel of violating the International Court of Justice provisional order, which said it must take effective measures to enable the provision of basic services and humanitarian aid.

Qatar's foreign ministry also issued a statement condemning the incident as a "heinous massacre committed by the Israeli occupation." The statement called it a continuation of the "occupation's brutal crimes."

"The Ministry stresses the need for the international community to shoulder its moral and legal responsibilities to oblige the Israeli occupation to comply with international law ... to provide protection to the brotherly Palestinian people from the systemic Israeli policies of killing, besieging, staving and forcibly displacing them," it said.

Israelis broke into Erez crossing, attacked IDF soldiers

Yarden Segev

A group of Israeli citizens "broke through" Erez crossing at Israel's border with Gaza today and "harmed the activities of the IDF," military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.

No additional details were provided about why the citizens were at the crossing, which has been closed to the public since Oct. 7. Hagari said the citizens violated the law, and he condemned the criminal behavior.

"The fact that soldiers are attacked by those they protect is extremely serious," Hagari said. "Soldiers are busy with this instead of fighting in Gaza."

Deadly convoy situation is a result of 'unconscionable decisions taken by Israeli authorities,' aid group says

Dr. Isabelle Defourny, the president of Médecins Sans Frontières France, laid blame for today's deadly aid convoy incident on Israel and described it as a consequence of the "extreme deprivation" in northern Gaza.

“A few days ago, when we spoke to our staff there, they said they did not have enough food to eat and that some were resorting to pet food to survive,” Defourny said. “They also reported a lack of clean water, which is leading to diseases.”

In a statement today, Defourny said the situation is the "direct result of the string of unconscionable decisions taken by Israeli authorities while waging this war."

She reiterated the group's call for a cease-fire in Gaza.

"We call on Israeli authorities to allow unimpeded and streamlined humanitarian and essential aid like food to be delivered into and throughout the Gaza Strip, and for attacks on civilians to stop immediately," she said.

Deadly aid distribution emphasizes need for cease-fire, former defense secretary says

NBC News

The chaotic aid distribution that turned deadly today is an example of why a cease-fire is needed to get food and supplies to Gaza, former Defense Secretary and ex-CIA Director Leon Panetta told MSNBC.

"We've seen these trucks besieged by crowds," Panetta said. "Why there can't be better order in the distribution of that humanitarian aid — with the amount of military that's there — I don't understand."

Israeli forces fired on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City, and at least 100 people were killed, with hundreds more injured. NBC News has not independently verified the reported death toll, and it’s not clear how many people were killed from gunfire or the ensuing panic.

The Israeli military said that an aid truck was surrounded by civilians, causing pushing and trampling, and that it was reviewing the incident.

Houthis threaten 'surprises' for enemies in Yemen's surrounding waters

Ammar Cheikh Omar

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, a leader of the Yemen rebel militia, threatened continued attacks against enemies in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandab Strait.

"Our surprises, God willing, will come effective and impactful," he said in a speech today.

Al-Houthi said American and British attacks on the group have only strengthened the Houthis' resolve in their support of Palestinians. An international coalition has criticized the militia's attacks, particularly in the Red Sea, which have disrupted commerce and led to retaliatory strikes from the U.S. and the U.K.

The group is one of the three Iran-backed groups in the region — along with Hamas and Hezbollah — that has maintained it is acting against Israel's "crimes" against Palestinian people.

"When a person is given the opportunity to be in a great position and then does not act, it is a serious situation for him," al-Houthi said. "We will not tire, we will not slack, we will not weaken, and we will not retreat."

NBC News

Referring to the hundreds of casualties in a huge crowd of desperate civilians waiting for aid in Gaza City overnight, United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric insisted that whether it was Israeli gunfire or a crush or the trucks that caused it, the war in Gaza was to blame. “These are all acts of violence, in a sense, due to this conflict,” he said.

Health Ministry reports 4 more children in Gaza dead of malnutrition

Four more children have died of malnutrition and dehydration in northern Gaza, Gaza's Health Ministry reported today.

Kamal Adwan Hospital reported the deaths today, bringing the malnutrition death toll to 10 children this week. Four were previously reported at the hospital, as well as two others at Al-Shifa Hospital.

Florida Senate unanimously passes bill to define ‘antisemitism’

Associated Press

Larissa Gao and Associated Press

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a bill yesterday to define the term “antisemitism.”

“Outbreaks of antisemitism can be a harbinger of deep societal trouble and reflect that extremism and violence are eminent. It is dangerous and unacceptable,” Democratic Sen. Lori Berman, the sponsor of the bill, told The Associated Press. “When there is hateful behavior against anyone, it can quickly become a societal endemic.”

The definition in the bill was taken from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities,” IHRA said.

Florida is the latest to pass a bill to define the term as the war in Gaza continues. Last month, Georgia passed a similar bill. A coalition of organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace and the Council on American–Islamic Relations, issued a joint statement at the time, saying that the Georgia bill “falsely equates critiques of Israel and Zionism with discrimination against Jewish people.”

IDF has been securing aid convoys for 4 nights; Hagari says this was the first incident so far

Israel's military has been securing aid convoys for the last few nights, but today's incident that resulted in deaths was the first to have issues, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.

Hagari said the military's tanks and drones were accompanying the convoy of aid trucks to help secure the humanitarian corridor, but at 4:45 a.m. local time, hundreds of people began to surround the convoy. Tanks fired "warning shots" to disperse the mob.

The IDF spokesperson denied shooting at civilians "either from the air or from the ground."

"When the hundreds became thousands and things got out of hand, the tank commander decided to retreat to avoid harm to the thousands of Gazans that were there," Hagari said.

He added that in his opinion, based on footage from the drones, the tanks backed up cautiously and securely.

The convoy was coordinated by Israel, Hagari said, as part of the country's commitment to distributing aid to civilians. He acknowledged that distributing the aid has been a problem.

Israel will not bend to 'delusional demands' from Hamas, Netanyahu said

Yarden Segev

Doha Madani and Yarden Segev

Israel is working to return all of the remaining hostages still captive in Gaza but will not fold to "delusional demands of Hamas," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference today.

"It is too early to say, despite our desire, if we will achieve another release plan in the coming days," he said. "We make great efforts to succeed."

The prime minister said that he has yet to receive a response to a demand he made to know the names of all the abducted citizens who will be released as part of the deal. He added that it is a "sacred goal" to return the hostages.

"We are determined to bring them all back," Netanyahu said. "With a plan or without a plan, we will fight until complete victory."

When asked whether Israel's military has completed a plan for operations in Rafah, Netanyahu told reporters, "We do not give notice when we will continue the operation."

"Have we prepared the continuation of the action? Yes," Netanyahu said. "The IDF presented it to the war Cabinet and to me. It will also be presented later to the general Cabinet."

1 in 5 pregnant women in central Gaza clinic are ‘malnourished,’ NGO warns

One in five pregnant women at a health clinic in Deir al Balah in central Gaza are malnourished, Project HOPE, a nongovernmental organization, warned in a statement today.

The statement said that women and children were suffering from acute malnutrition and there had been an increase in anemia cases among pregnant women, a problem of not having healthy red blood cells to provide oxygen to the whole body.

It added that 1 in 10 children in the clinic also showed signs of malnutrition.

“Anything short of an urgent and lasting cease-fire will exacerbate the inhumane conditions for more than two million people in Gaza,” the organization added.

As Gaza death toll tops 30,000, is Israel on the path to victory or quagmire?

As the death toll in Gaza tops 30,000 and international criticism mounts, Israeli forces believe they are on the path to victory in their offensive against Hamas. But the Palestinian militants are still fighting and could yet draw Israel into a long quagmire like past conflicts in Lebanon, former U.S. military officers and analysts say.

After four months of hammering, Israel says it has severely damaged the capacity of Hamas to fight, killing about 12,000 of its roughly 30,000-strong army and destroying much of its arsenal.

Israeli commanders and officials say Hamas is under growing pressure, with no way to replenish its weapons or ammunition and increasingly restricted in its movements.

Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfuss, commander of the Israel Defense Forces 98th Paratroopers Division, told NBC News that top Hamas leaders are now unable to direct their troops in real-time combat because they have no way to communicate securely.

“They’ve lost command and control,” said Goldfuss.

Read the full story here.

The body of a Palestinian killed when Israeli forces opened fire on crowds rushing at an aid distribution point in Gaza City.
The body of a Palestinian killed when Israeli forces opened fire on crowds rushing at an aid distribution point in Gaza City on Feb. 29.AFP - Getty Images

Egypt and Jordan condemn Israel for attacking Palestinians seeking aid

Egypt and Jordan issued separate statements earlier today, condemning Israel for committing a “shameful crime” and “brutally targeting” Palestinians seeking humanitarian aid after the shooting in northern Gaza killed at least 104.

“Egypt considers targeting peaceful citizens running to collect their share of humanitarian aid a shameful crime, a blatant violation of the provisions of international law and international humanitarian law, and a disregard for the value of the human being and the sanctity of his soul,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said on X.

Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs also said it “condemned the brutal targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of a gathering of Gazan citizens who were waiting to receive humanitarian aid at the Nabulsi roundabout near Al-Rashid Street in the Gaza Strip.”

A halt to Gaza fighting would trigger Lebanon cease-fire talks, PM says


BEIRUT — A halt to fighting in the Gaza Strip as early as next week would trigger indirect talks to end hostilities along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Pinister Najib Mikati said on Thursday.

In an interview with Reuters, Mikati said he was confident that the Iran-backed armed group Hezbollah would cease fire if Israel did the same, ending nearly five months of cross-border shelling and airstrikes. Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, has said its campaign aims to support the Palestinians under Israeli bombardment.

Mikati said a deal to halt military action in Gaza was “on the horizon” and could begin as early as next week.

“If we are able to reach a cessation of military operations in Gaza, then I believe that we will have ahead of us weeks packed with negotiations, so that we can reach what I have always called long-term stability in the south,” he said.

Mikati said he had met U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein in February in Munich, who was “preparing for visits to Lebanon soon.” Hochstein, who was last in Beirut in mid-January, mediated a rare deal in 2022 between Lebanon and Israel, with a nod of approval from Hezbollah, that ended their long-standing maritime border dispute. He has said he hopes to do the same for their land border.

When asked whether Hezbollah had signaled a willingness to move forward with talks, Mikati suggested that the “cooperation” shown by “all sides” to facilitate the maritime deal could be replicated for a land border deal.

“I am certain that the moment that Israel stops its violations against Lebanon, I am convinced that Hezbollah will not violate — or will not respond to something that did not happen,” he said.

Hezbollah itself indicated it was ready to halt its cross-border attacks if a Gaza cease-fire comes into force.

“The war in the south is linked to the aggression on Gaza on the one hand, and to securing means of protection for our country on the other,” senior Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah said.

United Nations was not involved in today's aid distribution, UNRWA chief says

The United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency was not involved in the aid distribution in northern Gaza today that turned deadly as Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on civilians.

Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner-general, said neither his agency nor any of the United Nations' teams were involved with the aid convoy.

"Another day from hell," he wrote in a post on X.

Aid organizations have warned for weeks that the humanitarian situation has created a desperation among starving civilians, particularly in northern Gaza, where convoys have inconsistent access. The World Food Programme made the decision earlier this month to temporarily suspend its work in the north after its convoys were stalled and faced dangerous situations just trying to make their way to the area.

Prince William condemns antisemitism during visit to London synagogue

The Associated Press

LONDON — Prince William condemned antisemitism during a visit to a London synagogue on Thursday, the first time he appeared in public after he unexpectedly pulled out of a royal event earlier in the week.

William, the heir to the throne, heard about how Jewish students across the U.K. have been affected by the rise of hatred against the Jewish community during his visit to the Western Marble Arch Synagogue. He also spent time with Renee Salt, a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The royal said he and his wife, Kate, the Princess of Wales, are extremely concerned about the rise in antisemitism. “I’m here today to reassure you all that people do care, people do listen and we can’t let that keep going,” he said.

William spoke out last week against the fighting in Gaza and called for the Israel-Hamas conflict to end “as soon as possible.” While his statement stopped short of calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, he spoke of the “terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack” and urged for more humanitarian support to Gaza.

U.S. should cut Israel weapons supplies instead of aid airdrops, aid group official says

Airdropping aid into Gaza is mostly a move to "relieve the guilty consciences" of U.S. officials who have contributed to the "atrocities" in the Palestinian enclave, Oxfam America's Scott Paul, associate director of peace and security, said in a statement today.

Oxfam does not support the move, Paul said, amid reports that U.S. officials were considering airdrops as challenges continue to stall ground distribution of basic goods.

He noted that dropping in supplies with no plan for disseminating would not only be a paltry stopgap but also "degrading" to Palestinians.

"Instead of indiscriminate airdrops in Gaza, the U.S. should cut the flow of weapons to Israel that are used in indiscriminate attacks, push for an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages, and insist that Israel uphold its duty to provide humanitarian aid, access, and other basic services," Paul said.

2 killed in shooting at West Bank gas station

Two men were killed in a shooting at gas station in Eli, a settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli emergency services group Magen David Adom said today.

Neither man was identified, but one was in his 20s and the other in his 40s, according to a spokesperson for Magen David Adom. Paramedics responded to the scene and found a vehicle with an unconscious man as well as another nearby. They both had gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead "a short time" after first responders arrived.

Israel's military said its soldiers were scanning the area and described the shooting as a "terror attack."

'Life is draining out of Gaza,' says U.N. humanitarian chief

News coming out of Gaza still has the ability to shock even after months of warfare, said Martin Griffiths, the United Nations' undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, in a post on X today.

Griffiths wrote in a statement that he was appalled at the news that civilians were killed and injured during a transfer of aid in Gaza City earlier today.

"Life is draining out of Gaza at a terrifying speed," he said.

Austin and Gallant discuss need to create more aid routes for northern Gaza

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, yesterday to discuss the “urgent” need to create new humanitarian routes that could facilitate aid to reach civilians in northern Gaza, according to a readout from the Defense Ministry.

The pair also talked about the negotiations for the release of hostages held by Hamas, the readout said.

Gallant said that military operations in Gaza would not stop until Hamas is removed from the enclave and all hostages are returned, his office said in a statement.

Gallant said U.S. leadership and international pressure would be crucial if Israel wants to reach a framework that would facilitate the return of the hostages, the statement added.

Biden spoke with Qatari and Egyptian leaders to discuss hostage talks

President Joe Biden held calls this morning with the emir of Qatar and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, according to a U.S. official.

The president told NBC News moments ago that he “was on the telephone with the people in the region” when asked about a possible temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the coming days.

The U.S. official confirmed that Biden discussed the current hostage talks and the overall situation in Gaza in both calls.

Hundreds of desperate Gazans rush aid truck, lament little food in Gaza City

In the dead of night, thousands of hungry Gazans are seen huddling around fires scattered across Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City, awaiting aid.

In a video shot by an NBC News crew on the ground, piles of waste and battered buildings line the street before several aid trucks arrive. Chaos unfolds as hundreds of people rush the vehicle, with individuals climbing on top of it, grabbing boxes of aid, and throwing them down to the crowds below.

"Is there sugar?" a man can be heard shouting.

In interviews with NBC News, desperate Gazans lamented the lack of aid and food supplies reaching the northern parts of the enclave, where the United Nations has warned of "imminent" famine.

Abou Adil Felfel, 60, told NBC News he came to the street looking for a piece of bread.

"I'm looking for things for my children," he said in front of a crackling fire. "Nothing is allowed to enter here for us to survive. We are dying slow deaths," he said, listing basic supplies, like medicines, that he can't find.

Abjed El Gazzer, a doctor from Al-Shifa Hospital who has lost his home and his parents in the war, said he went to Al-Rashid Street in the cold at 3 a.m. searching for food like the rest of the crowd.

"A bag of flour that used to be 10 dollars is now 1000 dollars," he said frustrated at wartime prices. "No one can buy anything in Gaza. The only reason for us risking our lives is to get scraps of food for our kids. That's the stage we've reached."

As dusk fell, several bloodied, dead bodies were filmed laid out on the flatbed of a truck, and others were wrapped in makeshift shrouds along the road's rubble.

Palestinian officials said dozens were killed in this overnight attack by Israeli forces near the humanitarian aid convoy. In a statement on Telegram, Gaza's government media office said 104 civilians had been killed in a "horrific massacre" while searching for food.

Israel confirmed that its troops had opened fire, with a government source saying the crowd “posed a threat” to Israeli soldiers, without clarifying what the threat was. They added that some casualties may have been caused by trampling in the crowd.

Biden says he knows incident today will complicate cease-fire talks

President Joe Biden took questions on the White House South Lawn today, telling reporters he has received conflicting reports about the deadly incident in north Gaza today, in which dozens were killed and more injured as a crowd rushed an aid truck.

Asked whether it would complicate negotiations for a cease-fire, Biden responded, “I know it will.” He said his administration was still working on getting the details of what happened.

But the president also remained publicly optimistic that a cease-fire deal could happen.

“Hope springs eternal,” Biden said. “I was on the telephone with people in the region. Probably not by Monday but I’m hopeful.”

Hamas warns that today's deadly aid truck incident threatens hostage negotiations

A statement on Telegram from Izzat Al-Risheq, of Hamas’ political bureau, suggested that the chaotic and deadly incident in which the Israeli military attacked Palestinians seeking humanitarian aid could threaten ongoing negotiations over the release of hostages held by Hamas.

The statement, which was addressed to mediators at the negotiations, particularly Americans, said that the “negotiations are not an open process, and we will not allow the path of negotiations, through which we seek to end the human suffering of our people created by the occupation; to be a cover for the enemy’s continued crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinian president condemns what he describes as an ‘ugly massacre’ of people waiting for aid

Larissa Gao and Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office accused Israel of committing an “ugly massacre” after Israeli soldiers opened fire on people waiting for humanitarian aid in northern Gaza, killing at least 100.

“The killing of this large number of innocent civilian victims who risked their livelihood is considered an integral part of the genocidal war,” the office told WAFA, the Palestinian news agency, adding that Israel should be held accountable before international courts.

The International Court of Justice has heard two cases involving Israel this year, including a case led by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza and another on the legality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land. Israel disputed both accusations.

U.N. rights chief says all parties in the conflict may have committed war crimes

All parties involved in the Israel-Hamas war may have committed war crimes, with a clear violation of international humanitarian law, U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk said today.

“It is time, well past time, for peace, investigation and accountability,” he told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, as he called for those responsible to be held accountable.

In a separate statement yesterday, Turk said Israeli operations had caused “unprecedented destruction and suffering,” leading to the humanitarian crisis in the enclave, as thousands of civilians face famine.

He also called on Israel to stop “collective punishment” immediately against all Gazans, allowing more humanitarian aid and commercial goods to enter and ending the “complete siege.”

Mass killing of kids 'in slow motion,' says Save the Children, warning of famine

Kids in Gaza are dying of malnutrition and lack of food, Jason Lee of Save the Children said yesterday in a statement.

"What we are witnessing in Gaza is a mass killing of children in slow motion because there is no food left and nothing getting to them," said Lee, the charity's country director in the occupied Palestinian territory.

U.S. looking into 'serious incident' after reports of Israeli troops firing on crowd of Gazans waiting for aid

The White House has said it is “looking into the reports” of Israeli soldiers firing on a crowd of Gazans waiting for aid, calling it a “serious incident.”

“We mourn the loss of innocent life and recognize the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where innocent Palestinians are just trying to feed their families,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said.

“This underscores the importance of expanding and sustaining the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, including through a potential temporary cease-fire. We continue to work day and night to achieve that outcome,” the spokesperson said.

New Zealand lists Hamas as terrorist group, sanctions ‘extremist’ Israeli settlers


SYDNEY — New Zealand on Thursday listed Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist entity and imposed travel bans on “extremist” Israeli settlers whom it said had committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said in a statement that the attacks by Hamas on Israel in October “were brutal and we have unequivocally condemned them.”

But he added that “New Zealand wants to be clear that the designation of Hamas is about the actions of an offshore terrorist entity and is not a reflection on the Palestinian people in Gaza and around the world.”

New Zealand has designated the military wing of Hamas as a terrorist entity since 2010.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the whole of Hamas bears responsibility for the October attacks, making it difficult for the New Zealand government to distinguish between the group’s military and political wings.

The Oct. 7 attacks killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies. Since then, Israel’s air and ground campaign in Hamas-governed Gaza has killed about 30,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry.

New Zealand’s decision makes it a criminal offense to carry out property or financial transactions with Hamas or provide material support. It also freezes any Hamas assets in New Zealand.

It does not prevent New Zealand from providing humanitarian and future development assistance for civilians in Gaza or from giving consular support to New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in the conflict zone.

Luxon also said he was “seriously concerned by the significant increase in extremist violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers” against Palestinians in recent months.

“This is particularly destabilizing in what is already a major crisis,” Luxon said.

New Zealand’s consistent position has been that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are a violation of international law.

The government said it would continue to support a future Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution, urging an end to the current conflict and an urgent restart of the Middle East peace process.

Israeli army attacks crowd waiting for aid, killing dozens, Gaza health ministry says

The Israeli army opened fire at Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid on a coastal road in northern Gaza earlier today, killing at least 100 people and injuring hundreds more, Gaza health officials have said.

Videos on social media show injured people lying in trucks, some of them bloodied.

Israel confirmed that its troops had opened fire, with a government source saying the crowd “posed a threat” to Israeli soldiers, without clarifying what the threat was. They added that some casualties may have been caused by trampling in the crowd.

Democrats grew more divided on Israeli-Palestinian conflict, new Ipsos poll shows

Larissa Gao and Reuters

56% of respondents who identified themselves as Democrats said they were less likely to support a candidate who backs military assistance for Israel, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

The three-day poll, which closed yesterday, showed that a minority — 40% of Democrats — said they are more likely to support such a candidate.

As the death toll in the enclave climbs and tensions escalate in the Middle East, President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s war with Hamas — including arms shipments to Israel — has angered some members of his party, whose support will be crucial ahead of the November presidential election.

The poll results also showed that Biden and former President Donald Trump, the likley Republican candidate, would be tied in a hypothetical election. 36% of respondents each favored Biden and Trump, with the rest saying they are unsure who to vote for, or if they would vote at all.

NBC News

Medical staff at the neonatal department at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya told an NBC News crew that there were seeing unprecedented numbers of Palestinian children suffering from malnutrition, hunger and dehydration. For every child discharged, two will take its place, they said.

Hakim Ahmed Elkahlout, the department's head nurse, showed the crew a frail baby girl who was admitted two days ago, lying limply in a hospital bed. "She needs specialized care and specialized nutrition," he said.

Some days ago, four malnourished children died at the hospital, staff said.

U.S. considering airdropping aid into Gaza, official says

The Biden administration is considering airdropping aid into Gaza, a U.S. official has told NBC News, given the dire need for humanitarian assistance and the slower pace of land deliveries into the Palestinian enclave.

This comes as the White House is growing increasingly concerned about a possible famine for a sizeable portion of Gaza’s population.

Axios was first to report the news.

Reports of more children dying in northern Gaza are ‘horrendous,' UNRWA says

Reports that at least six more children in northern Gaza have died of dehydration and malnutrition are “horrendous,” the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said on X today.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency also called for “unimpeded access” across the enclave and an immediate cease-fire.

A camp for displaced civilians in Rafah

Max Butterworth

A man passes a barbed wire fence outside a camp for displaced civilians in Rafah, southern Gaza, yesterday.

Rafah Gaza Civilian Camp
Mohammed Abed / AFP - Getty Images

Israel says its troops fired on a crowd of Gazans waiting for aid

Max Burman

Israel said that its troops opened fire on a crowd of people waiting for humanitarian aid this morning in Gaza City in the north of the enclave, responding to reports from officials in Gaza that dozens of people were killed in an Israeli attack.

"Early this morning, during the entry of humanitarian aid trucks into the northern Gaza Strip, Gazan residents surrounded the trucks, and looted the supplies being delivered. During the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling," an IDF spokesperson said in a statement. "The incident is under review."

An Israeli government source said that "several people who surrounded the humanitarian aid trucks approached IDF troops securing the passage of trucks as part of a humanitarian operation to transfer aid."

"The crowd approached the forces in a manner that posed a threat to the troops, who responded to the threat with live fire. The incident is under review," the source added.

Israel-Hamas war has now killed at least 30,000 people in Gaza, most of them civilians

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza has now killed at least 30,000 people, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced today, a swelling death toll that has already drawn condemnation internationally, isolated Israel and prompted dismay from its traditional friends and allies.

Though the United States says a cease-fire may be near, the military campaign looks far from over. Some 70% of the dead are women and children, according to figures published by the Palestinian Health Ministry.

American and U.N. officials say the death toll given by Palestinian officials is at least accurate and perhaps an undercount. Aid workers on the ground say that thousands more people could still be trapped under the rubble. In addition, some 70,000 people have been wounded, and 1.7 million — or 80% of the population — has been displaced, according to Gazan health officials and U.N. estimates. 

Read the full story here.

Attack on Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza kills dozens, Health Ministry says

An attack on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City has killed and wounded dozens of people, according to local officials.

At least 70 people were killed by an Israeli strike while waiting for humanitarian aid, Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the enclave’s Health Ministry, said in a statement this morning.

Israel opens fire on Palestinians waiting for aid
Injured Palestinians receive medical treatment in Al-Shifa Hospital after Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid trucks today.Dawoud Abo / Anadolu via Getty Images

More than 280 people were injured, Al-Qudra said, adding that the injuries, ranged from critical to serious. He added that many had been taken to Al-Shifa, Gaza's largest medical facility which was raided by Israeli forces earlier this year.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports.

The incident comes after food aid entered northern Gaza yesterday for the first time in weeks, as the U.N. and aid agencies warn of mass starvation.

Canada says it’s working to airdrop aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible

Associated Press

OTTAWA, Ontario — Canada is working to airdrop humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible, a Cabinet minister said yesterday.

The confirmation that an active effort is underway comes after Canadian International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said Ottawa was exploring new options to deliver aid.

He said the provision of airdrops in partnership with like-minded countries in the region, such as Jordan, was on the table.

Hussen said last week that the provision of aid is nowhere near what’s needed and a tedious inspection process was slowing down the movement of supplies brought in by truck.

He made the comments following a trip to the Rafah border crossing, the only way in or out of the Gaza Strip since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

Canada has put 100 million Canadian dollars ($74 million) toward aid for the besieged territory since the start of the conflict, including 40 million Canadian dollars ($30 million) committed in January.

An IDF soldier fires from a position inside Gaza

Max Butterworth

An image released by the Israeli military today shows a soldier firing a missile at an undisclosed location during ongoing operations in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Ground Operations Gaza
Israeli Army / AFP - Getty Images

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