IDF: Reported gunfire near UN team related to battle with gunmen, aid workers weren’t located close to incident

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

The military responds to reports of gunfire near teams of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) along the Israeli-designated “humanitarian route” from the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip yesterday, saying that troops had engaged two gunmen in the area.

“Following an examination on the matter, the IDF operated to neutralize two gunmen who posed a threat to nearby IDF troops in the area,” the military says.

The IDF says the gunmen were not in close proximity to the UN workers during the incident.

“We emphasize that the UN workers were not the target of the operation and they were not harmed during the strike,” the military says in a statement.

Separately, the IDF says it is examining claims of an attack in the al-Mawasi area yesterday, which according to the Red Cross killed 22 people and damaged its office there.

“Following an initial inquiry, there was no direct attack carried out by the IDF against a Red Cross facility,” the military says in the statement.

It says that “the incident will be quickly examined and its findings will be presented to our international partners.”

“The IDF makes significant efforts to avoid harming workers, UN facilities and international organizations working in the Gaza Strip. The IDF is committed to enabling the activity and safe movement of international organizations, including the UN, in the Gaza Strip,” the statement adds.

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