Far-right activists mistake commercial truck for Gaza aid convoy, attack driver

Two suspects detained at Givat Asaf Junction as extremists apprehended truck, vandalized contents and left Palestinian driver laying on street

An IDF soldier (center) at the scene where far-right activists attacked a truck, leaving the driver (right) laying on the ground bloodied, Givat Asaf Junction, West Bank, May 15, 2024. (X screenshot)
An IDF soldier (center) at the scene where far-right activists attacked a truck, leaving the driver (right) laying on the ground bloodied, Givat Asaf Junction, West Bank, May 15, 2024. (X screenshot)

Israeli extremists mistook on Wednesday a regular commercial truck traveling in the West Bank for a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza and attacked the vehicle, Hebrew media reported.

The vigilantes set a fire in the road at the Givat Asaf Junction on Route 60, dumped the truck’s contents onto the pavement and assaulted the Palestinian driver.

Video from the scene showed the driver lying on the street, bloodied. His condition was not immediately clear

Channel 12 reported that police detained two people at the scene.

In protest of the government allowing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip during Israel’s war against Hamas, far-right activists have blocked off roads to prevent aid convoys from entering the Strip and recently have begun attacking the trucks themselves.

On Monday, right-wing extremists spilled the contents of a truck onto the road to prevent aid from entering Gaza.

Four people were arrested during the fracas.

Two trucks from the convoy were later set on fire, according to multiple media reports.

The Tzav 9 activist group, which seeks to halt transfers of humanitarian supplies into Gaza as long as Israelis are held hostage there, claimed credit for blocking the shipment as it passed through the Tarqumiyah checkpoint, in the Hebron Hills region between the southern West Bank and Israel.

An aid convoy heading to the Gaza Strip that was attacked by protesters in the Hebron Hills region, May 13, 2023. (Video screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Trucks have been transferring aid originating in Jordan through the West Bank en route to Gaza, where Israel is warring against the Palestinian terror group Hamas. The fighting has led to a humanitarian crisis in the enclave.

Demonstrators oppose the delivery of aid into Gaza as long as 132 people are still being held hostage by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, all but four of them seized during the devastating October 7 attack on Israel led by Hamas that killed some 1,200 people and opened the war.

The activists have not affected aid deliveries in a significant way.

On Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said it had opened a new crossing with the northern Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid deliveries. The so-called Western Erez Crossing is located in the Zikim area, on the coast.

The crossing was built by the Defense Ministry’s engineering department, the ministry’s crossings authority, and IDF engineering units.

The IDF said the crossing was opened “as part of the effort to increase aid routes to the Gaza Strip, and to the northern Gaza Strip in particular.”

It said that dozens of trucks ferrying flour from the World Food Program were delivered from Ashdod Port to the Gaza Strip via the new crossing, after “undergoing security checks.”

Tzav 9 lamented the development at the time, saying it was a “shameful spectacle.”

Israel has been working to increase humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza amid pressure from the international community, including the United States.

People holding Israeli flags stand in front of trucks carrying humanitarian aid as they try to stop them from entering the Gaza Strip near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, May 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

In response to the Hamas attack, Israel launched a military campaign to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza, destroy the terror group, and free the hostages.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 35,000 people in the Strip have been killed in the fighting so far, a toll that cannot be independently verified. The United Nations says some 24,000 fatalities have been identified at hospitals at this time. The rest of the total figure is based on murkier Hamas “media reports.” It also includes some 15,000 terror operatives Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

Most Popular
read more: