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Israel-Hamas war: Gaza aid convoy deaths spark global outrage

The U.S. is scrambling to salvage cease-fire negotiations following the incident, and there was a growing sense of pessimism in the White House that a deal could be finalized by next week.

What we know

  • Global leaders expressed grief and outrage after Israeli forces were accused of opening fire on a crowd of Palestinians who were hoping to get food from aid trucks in Gaza City. More than 100 people were killed and hundreds wounded, the enclave’s Health Ministry said.
  • The Israeli military confirmed that its forces used live fire in one of what it said were two incidents, but an IDF spokesman on Friday denied they fired on those seeking aid and blamed most of the deaths on a stampede. The IDF disputed the casualty numbers, but did not say how many it thinks have died.
  • The U.S. is scrambling to salvage cease-fire negotiations following the incident, with several administration officials, including President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, making calls to their counterparts in the Middle East. But there was a growing sense of pessimism that a deal Biden recently said was close could be finalized, one official told NBC News.
  • It came as the death toll in Gaza surpassed 30,000 and amid surging fears of starvation in the north of the territory. 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.

Aid for children delivered to Al-Shifa Hospital in north Gaza

Ammar Cheikh Omar

Ammar Cheikh Omar and Mirna Alsharif

Aid, including vaccines and formula milk, was delivered to Al-Shifa Hospital in north Gaza today, according to UNICEF Palestine.

"These supplies will support hundreds of children in an extremely dire situation," UNICEF said on X. "More aid is needed to address the needs of children."

The mission was a partnership between the World Health Organization and the United Nations, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNICEF.

Families of U.S. hostages in Gaza set to attend State of the Union

WASHINGTON — Family members of some of the Americans still held hostage in Gaza are expected to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address next week after receiving an invitation from a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The families also plan to send a letter to every member of Congress asking them and their staffers to wear yellow ribbons and dog tags to the speech on Thursday night in a sign of solidarity for those desperately working each day to bring their loved ones home.

“It’s a living hell. A living hell from the moment you get up in the morning until you go to bed,” said Jonathan Dekel-Chen, father of American hostage Sagui Dekel-Chen, who plans to attend the event at the Capitol with Sagui’s stepmother, Gillian Kaye.

The couple said they’re hopeful their presence will remind Americans of the horrific situation their son and 133 other hostages are dealing with and plead with lawmakers both in the United States and around the world to continue their effort to secure their release.

Read the full story here.

Jonathan Dekel-Chen, father of Sagui Dekel-Chen speaks at the White House
Jonathan Dekel-Chen, father of Sagui Dekel-Chen, speaks at the White House on Dec. 13.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images

People in Gaza are 'closer to dying than living,' German foreign minister said

Mahalia Dobson

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, has demanded that Israel’s army "fully explain how the mass panic and shooting could have happened" in the deadly aid convoy incident.

“People wanted relief supplies for themselves and their families and found themselves dead. The reports from Gaza shock me,” Baerbock said on X.

In the same post, Baerbock said that people in Gaza were “closer to dying that to living,” and called for an immediate cease-fire so hostages could be released, and humanitarian aid distributed safely.

Egypt 'hopeful' cease-fire and hostage release deal can be struck before Ramadan

Mahalia Dobson


Mahalia Dobson and Reuters

Egypt’s foreign minister said today he is hopeful a cease-fire deal in Gaza will be reached before the start of Ramadan.

Qatar has been mediating negotiations between Israel and Hamas this week and talks about a potential cease-fire have also taken place among U.S., Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials in Paris.

“I can say that we have reached a point of understanding, we will still exert every effort with our brothers in Qatar and the U.S. and others close to the negotiations. We are hopeful that we can reach a cessation of hostilities and exchange of hostages,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey.

The Israeli government has warned that unless Hamas frees all hostages held in Gaza by March 10, a large-scale offensive will be launched in Rafah.

“Everyone recognizes that we have a time limit to be successful before the start of Ramadan,” he said.

Most Palestinians injured in aid convoy incident were shot or wounded by artillery fire, doctor says

A doctor at Al-Shifa Medical Complex in north Gaza said that most of the injured Palestinians brought in for treatment after Thursday's deadly aid convoy incident were shot.

"Most of these injuries were the result of gunshots, injuries as a result of explosions of artillery shells and tank shells," ER Dr. Mohamed Mahmoud Eghrab said. "Most of the injuries were in the upper part of the body, in the head, the chest, and in the abdominal area. The majority of the injuries were severe injuries. Roughly about 70% of the injuries needed surgeries."

The Palestinian Health Ministry has accused Israel of opening fire on a crowd of people seeking food from aid trucks in Gaza City and killing over 100. The IDF has denied opening fire on those seeking aid and disputed the casualty numbers, saying most of those who died were killed in a stampede.

Eghrab said only two operation rooms are functioning at Al-Shifa, so medical staff are having to prioritize patients according to the seriousness of their condition.

"Unfortunately, due to the lack of medications, lack of oxygen, and lack of medical supplies, a large number of these patients lose their lives while waiting to undergo an operation," Eghrab said.

The medical complex received a large number of dead and injured as a result of the incident on Al-Rashid Street. So far, over 70 people have been killed and 500 have been injured — and these are the casualties at Al-Shifa alone, Eghrab said.

Eghrab said while some of the victims were injured by trampling, most of them were shot.

"Perhaps a small number of them were due to trampling and pushing, but the trampling itself happened after the shooting occurred by the Israeli occupation forces," Eghrab said.

Biden announces U.S. will airdrop food aid into Gaza as famine concerns grow

Rebecca Shabadis in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Friday that the U.S. will drop food aid into the Gaza Strip, noting that the humanitarian aid flowing into the region for Palestinians is insufficient.

“Aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere nearly enough… lives are on the line,” Biden said as he announced the decision about the airdrops during an Oval Office meeting he was holding with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

“We should be getting hundreds of trucks in, not just several,” he continued. “We’re going to pull out every stop we can.”

The president reiterated that the U.S. is trying to push for an immediate cease-fire between Hamas and Israel to allow more aid into Gaza, where he said “innocent people” have died.

Read the full story here.

‘The U.S. is going to have to act now’ after deadly aid convoy incident, former CIA official says

NBC News

Former senior CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos joined Ana Cabrera on MSNBC to discuss how the incident reflects the worsening humanitarian crisis at hand in Gaza.

“You’re going to see announcements from the White House as well that we’re going to consider things like airdrops, airdrops of humanitarian aid from U.S. Air Force aircraft and also perhaps opening some kind of maritime quarter, meaning ships off the coast of Gaza,” Polymeropoulos said. “You know, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances, tragedies like this that can spur change.”

“I think the status quo can’t remain in terms of the humanitarian issue situation, and the U.S. is going to take up, in a sense, unilateral action with Israeli OK. But I think the U.S. is going to have to act now.”

Some Biden administration officials denounce White House response to ‘“Hunger Games” style massacre’

Allie Raffa

Some Biden administration officials, who are all political appointees, are expressing outrage over President Joe Biden’s handling of the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza on Thursday as they were waiting for food aid.

A handful of them provided a statement to NBC News. The staffers have all asked to remain anonymous out of concern about retaliation for speaking out against the administration’s position on the Israel-Hamas war.

“Saying there are two ‘versions of what happened’ when we have video proof of what occurred is absolutely disgusting. ... From pastors, labor unions and veterans to members of Congress, President Biden is out of touch with the reality that the majority of this country supports a permanent ceasefire,” the statement said.

“On Thursday morning we all woke up to a ‘Hunger Games’ style massacre, weaponizing starvation and over one hundred people dead and this administration’s response is that we need to clarify information? It’s baffling,” the statement continued. “President Biden has the unique power to mitigate the harms being done—not through useless backchannel conversations, but through established processes of international law and strong diplomacy.”

The Palestinian Health Ministry has accused Israel of opening fire on a crowd of people seeking aid and killing over 100. The IDF has denied opening fire on those seeking aid and disputed the casualty numbers, saying most of those who died were killed in a stampede.

The statement is the latest addition to growing calls on Biden from within his administration to demand a cease-fire and reassess his handling of Israel’s war with Hamas.

Since the war began on Oct. 7, several efforts have launched from within the government to push for the de-escalation of the conflict, including letters from hundreds of Biden’s former 2020 campaign staff, Muslim and Jewish congressional employees and more than 400 Biden administration staffers who signed an open letter in November demanding he pursue a cease-fire.

3 more bodies recovered from deadly aid convoy incident, Gaza Health Ministry says

NBC News

Three more bodies have been recovered from yesterday's deadly aid convoy incident in Al-Rashid Street, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

The bodies were taken to Al-Shifa Hospital. The ministry reports that at least 115 people were killed and more than 750 were wounded in the incident, where Israeli forces are accused of opening fire on Palestinians waiting for aid.

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.

IDF spokesperson: 'We did not open fire' on civilians seeking aid, most deaths caused by 'stampede'

Israeli Defense Forces Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht joined MSNBC and denied reports that Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians approaching aid trucks in Gaza.

Hecht did say that there was one specific event at the end of the convoy where “some of the Gazans approached our soldiers, they felt threatened and they fired nonlethal shots.”

"Sadly and tragically, most of the dead...were from this tragic stampede," Hecht said.

7 Israeli hostages dead due to Israeli bombing, Al-Qassam Brigades says

NBC News

Seven Israeli hostages have died in Gaza as a result of Israeli bombing on the enclave, according to Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson Abu Ubaida.

Three of the hostages were identified as Haim Gershon Perry, Yoram Itak Metzger and Amiram Israel Cooper, Abu Ubaida said in a statement.

The names of the four others will be announced after they've been identified.

Abu Ubaida said up to 70 hostages may have been killed in Gaza due to Israel's military operations in strip.

"We have been keen all along to preserve the lives of the prisoners, but it has become clear that the enemy leadership is deliberately killing its prisoners to get rid of this file," Abu Ubaida said. "At the same time, we affirm that the price we will take in exchange for five or ten living prisoners is the same price we would have taken in exchange for all the prisoners if the enemy’s bombing operations had not killed them."

How Biden aides are trying to shield the president from protests

Carol E. LeeCarol E. Lee is the Washington managing editor.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s team is increasingly taking extraordinary steps to minimize disruptions from pro-Palestinian protests at his events.

The campaign is making events smaller, withholding their precise locations from the media and the public until he arrives, avoiding college campuses and, in at least one instance, considering hiring a private company to vet attendees.

The efforts have resulted in zero disruptions at events the White House or the campaign have organized for Biden in the five weeks since he was interrupted a dozen times during an abortion rights speech in Virginia.

But they have also meant that Biden is appearing in front of fewer voters and not personally engaging with some of the key constituencies whose support he is struggling to gain, such as young voters.

Read the full story here.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden at the White House on Oct. 13, 2023.Susan Walsh / AP file

Gunfire heard on video as Gazans seeking aid run to take cover

A video obtained by Al Jazeera shows Palestinians who had been waiting for aid running to take cover amid audible gunfire in Gaza.

Israeli forces are accused of opening fire on the crowd of Palestinians yesterday who were hoping to get food from aid trucks in Gaza City. More than 100 people were killed and over 700 were injured. Israel has denied opening fire on those seeking aid and disputed the death toll.

NBC News has verified the location as the area where more than 100 people were killed yesterday, but has not been able to verify the exact time the video was taken.

The video was filmed at night on a section of open ground near the Nabulsi roundabout on Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City.

Palestinians could be seen ducking as multiple rounds of gunfire could be heard in the background. Some of the rounds could be seen shooting across the night sky.

In the chaos, people called out to each other. One woman called for her daughter.

"My daughter," she could be heard saying. "I swear we've been hungry for seven days. I swear, this is unfair."

"Come back! I don't want flour," she screams. "God is sufficient for me. Where did she go?"

WHO says Gaza health system is 'on its knees'

Mahalia Dobson


Mahalia Dobson and Reuters

“All the lifelines in Gaza have more or less been cut,” WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva, adding that the enclave's health system “is on its knees, it’s more than on its knees.”

“The food supplies have been cut off deliberately. Let’s not forget that,” he said, taking aim at Israel and its monthslong assault on Gaza.

Israel has said the failure to get enough aid into Gaza to meet humanitarian needs is due to U.N. distribution failures.

E.U. to release 50 million euros to UNRWA

Mahalia Dobson

The European Union will increase support for Palestinians by 68 million euros ($73.5 million) through 2024, starting with an initial tranche of 50 million euros ($54 million) next week.

The embattled agency saw $450 million in funding pulled following allegations by Israel that a dozen of its roughly 13,000 staff in Gaza has participated in Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks.

The E.U. said that it would release an additional 32 million euros ($34.6 million) if UNRWA complies with an audit by E.U.-appointed external experts and commits to strengthening its internal investigations.

UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini welcomed the E.U.’s announcement and said the agency was cooperating with an ongoing external review of its work.

“The full disbursement of the EU contribution is key to the agency’s ability to maintain its operations in a very volatile area,” Lazzarini said on X. 

Hamas calls the death of 13 children in Gaza from hunger a 'failure of the international community'

NBC News

At least 13 children are dead in Gaza because of malnutrition and hunger, Hamas said, citing data from the Gaza Health Ministry.

The deaths are "a declaration of failure of the international community and the United Nations in carrying out their tasks in protecting children from starvation," it said in a statement today.

"We renew our call on the United Nations and international relief institutions to take urgent action to save children and civilians in the Gaza Strip, especially in the Gaza and North governorates, and not to submit to the dictates of the criminal Zionist occupation," Hamas said, referring to Israel.

The organization also urged the international community to help deliver food aid and medical assistance to the enclave urgently "to avoid the increasing catastrophe of famine."

U.N. yet to receive evidence from Israel to support claims against UNWRA

Mahalia Dobson


Mahalia Dobson and Reuters

A month after Israel accused a dozen staff members of UNRWA, the primary aid organization for Palestinians, of participating in the Oct. 7 attacks, U.N. investigators say they have not received evidence from Israel to support the accusation. The U.N. spokesperson added that they expect to receive evidence "shortly."

Israel's allegations led to 16 major donors to suspend funding to the UNRWA totaling $450 million, bringing the agency to the brink of a “breaking point” as 2 million Gazans faced famine.

The independent, internal investigation by the U.N.'s Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was launched on January 29, shortly after UNRWA fired 9 of the 12 employees named by Israel (two were already dead).

“The investigation remains ongoing. OIOS will continue to seek and to corroborate additional information and to compare the information obtained with materials held by Israeli authorities, which OIOS expects to receive shortly,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters yesterday.

116 aid trucks enter Gaza and hundreds leave enclave at Egypt border crossing

Mahalia Dobson

Charlene Gubash

Mahalia Dobson and Charlene Gubash

As many as 116 aid trucks entered Gaza on Tuesday morning, Khaled Zayed, head of the Egyptian Red Crescent in North Sinai, told NBC News.

A total of 24 trucks crossed into the strip via the Rafah border crossing, including four trucks carrying residential cooking gas. Another 92 aid trucks entered via the Karem Abu Salem crossing.

As many as 42 injured Palestinians, 80 Egyptians and 250 Egyptian residents left Gaza and traveled over the border into Egypt.

A total of 57 people entered Gaza, including 18 Palestinians, 21 United Nations members, 14 Red Cross members and three World Health Organization members. In addition, there was the body of a Palestinian who was being returned for burial after dying in Egypt from injuries sustained in the war.

Video shows masked men patrolling Rafah market 'to keep down prices'

NBC News

Members of the self-styled Popular Protection Committee descended on a market in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, in a campaign to prevent profiteering and keep food prices down.

Mouin Siyam, who was at the market, told an NBC News crew that people were happy with the efforts to reduce prices. Extreme shortages in Gaza have caused wartime prices for basic necessities like flour to skyrocket.

“We are coming for those who are looting, causing problems, and have hashish. We are here to protect the people,” one of the activists said continuing the patrol.

U.S. citizen who faces trial in Israeli military court released on bail

Mahalia Dobson

Associated Press

Mahalia Dobson and Associated Press

A Palestinian American woman who was detained by Israeli authorities for more than three weeks was released on bail yesterday, the latest in a case attracting international attention and widespread criticism for prosecuting an American in Israeli military court.

Samaher Esmail, 46, of New Orleans, had been in the West Bank for less than three months when she was charged with incitement for several photos and messages she had posted to social media. Some of the photos included Hamas leaders, but did not explicitly call for violence.

The judge ruled yesterday that the military court did not have jurisdiction to prosecute Esmail for posts she made while in the U.S. but charged her with those she made while in the West Bank.

Esmail is now allowed to return to her West Bank village. She will only be able to go back to the U.S. once her trial concludes, and only if she is found not guilty.

The military court is a legal system for West Bank Palestinians that is separate from the civilian courts enjoyed by Israelis. Palestinians and human rights groups say the system is awash in violations of due process and almost always renders guilty verdicts, with 95% of military court hearings ending in convictions, according to the Israeli watchdog Military Court Watch. Israel says it provides due process.

Biden scrambles to salvage cease-fire talks after IDF reportedly kills scores of Palestinians


Allie Raffa

Carol E. LeeCarol E. Lee is the Washington managing editor.

The Biden administration is trying to salvage cease-fire negotiations after dozens of Palestinians were reportedly killed by Israeli forces while waiting in line for humanitarian aid in Gaza, according to multiple U.S. officials. 

Privately, administration officials expressed grave concern that negotiations on a deal to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and a temporary pause in Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip could stall.

Administration officials — from President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on down — made calls yesterday to their counterparts in capitals across the Middle East to try to salvage the negotiations. But there was a growing sense of pessimism in the White House that a deal Biden recently said was close could be finalized, one official said.

Read full story here.

israeli hamas conflict gaza
People mourn near bodies at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, on Feb. 29, 2024.AFP - Getty Images

Gaza death toll rises past 30,200

Mahalia Dobson

At least 30,200 people have been killed and more than 71,000 injured in Gaza since Oct. 7, the Palestinian Health Ministry said today.

In the past 24 hours,more than 190 Palestinians were killed and 900 injured, it added. 

Families of hostages rally outside U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv

Mahalia Dobson

The families of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza are on the third day of a march from southern Israel to Jerusalem.

Family members, joined by Israeli war Cabinet member Benny Gantz, carried 134 stretchers, corresponding to the number of hostages believed to remain in Hamas captivity.

Demonstrators rally outside the Embassy of United States, in Tel Aviv
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv today.Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

Demonstrators are also positioned outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, calling on President Joe Biden and his administration to prioritize and assist in releasing the hostages.

Aid convoy deaths require independent investigation, U.N. chief says

Mahalia Dobson

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said yesterday that the death of at least 100 people, after Israeli forces fired on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City, would require an effective independent investigation.

Speaking in St. Vincent at the Grenadines ahead of a regional summit, Guterres said he was “shocked” by the latest episode in the conflict in Gaza.

Responding to questions about the U.N. Security Council’s deadlock over the conflict in Gaza, Guterres said that worsening geopolitical divides had “transformed the veto power into an effective instrument of paralysis of the action of the Security Council.”

“I am totally convinced that we need a humanitarian cease-fire, and we need the unconditional and immediate release of hostages and that we should have a Security Council able to achieve these objectives,” he said. 

The Israeli military confirmed, including in an exclusive interview with NBC News, that its forces used live fire in one of what it said were two nearby incidents.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari later denied its forces had shot people seeking aid.

“We did not fire at the humanitarian convoy either from the air or from the ground,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Details of the incident remain unclear. However, a video obtained by Al Jazeera show a crowd appearing to flee and duck amid audible gunfire. NBC News has geolocated the video to the area surrounding Al-Rashid Street, but was unable to verify the precise time the video was filmed that night.

IDF releases edited video clips of yesterday's deadly aid truck incident

Max Butterworth

Drone footage released by the Israeli army shows what it says are Palestinians around a humanitarian convoy in Gaza City yesterday.

In the screen shot below, people are seen crowded around what appear to be aid trucks. The short, edited video clips did not show the events that caused the casualties.

Israeli Drone Gaza Aid Convoy
Aline Manoukian / AFP - Getty Images

China 'strongly condemns' Gaza aid delivery deaths

Mahalia Dobson

Jeremy Zhu

Mahalia Dobson and Jeremy Zhu

China’s Foreign Ministry has reiterated calls for an immediate cease-fire following the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza who were gathered to receive humanitarian aid yesterday.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said the country was “shocked” by the incident.

“China urges all parties concerned, especially Israel, to cease fighting immediately, ensure the safety and security of civilians, and ensure humanitarian access in order to avoid a further humanitarian disaster,” Mao said in a statement.

China has been one of the most vocal proponents of a cease-fire in United Nations meetings since Oct. 7 and has repeatedly called for an independent Palestinian state.

'This is for Gaza': George Galloway wins British Parliament seat

Mahalia Dobson

Veteran left-wing provocateur George Galloway has been elected to Parliament in the United Kingdom after winning a special election dominated by the Israel-Hamas war.

After running a pro-Palestinian campaign, Galloway won almost 40% of the vote in the English town of Rochdale, which has a sizable Muslim minority.

His victory underlines the divisions in the U.K. over the Israel-Hamas war, with protests consistently seen in support of both sides spilling onto British streets. But it also reflected specific factors at play in yesterday's vote, which was overshadowed by controversy.

ount And Declaration Takes Place For The Rochdale By-election
George Galloway after being declared the winner in Rochdale, northern England, last night.Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

The opposition Labour Party pulled its support for its candidate, Azhar Ali, after leaked comments in which he suggested Israel was complicit in Hamas’ attack Oct. 7. 

In his victory speech, Galloway explicitly attacked the Labour leader, widely expected to be the next U.K. prime minister, for supporting Israel in its war against Hamas. “Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza,” he said. “You will play a high price, in enabling, encouraging and covering for, the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine in the Gaza strip.”

France condemns Gaza aid convoy deaths, calls for independent probe

Mahalia Dobson


Mahalia Dobson and Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned the deadly aid convoy incident and called for an immediate cease-fire.

“Deep indignation at the images coming from Gaza where civilians have been targeted by Israeli soldiers,” Macron said on X today.  

“I express my strongest condemnation of these shootings and call for truth, justice and respect for international law,” he added.

Speaking on French radio this morning, Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said the government would support the United Nations’ call for an independent investigation.

“The humanitarian situation has been catastrophic for several weeks now and what happened is indefensible and unjustifiable. Israel needs to be able to hear it and it needs to stop,” Sejourne said.

Despair after aid convoy deaths in Gaza

Max Butterworth

Palestinian civilians mourn after Israeli forces opened fire on crowds at an aid distribution point in Gaza City yesterday.

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Israeli forces shot dead dozens of people when a crowd rushed towards aid trucks on February 29.
AFP - Getty Images

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