UN Security Council conveys ‘deep concern’ over Gaza aid convoy debacle

The UN Security Council issues a statement calling on “all parties to refrain from depriving the civilian population in the Gaza Strip of basic services and humanitarian assistance” and to urgently increase the delivery of aid to the war-torn territory.

The members express “deep concern” over a Thursday incident in which over 100 Gazans reportedly died as crowds rushed an aid convoy in Gaza City. Israeli troops fired at several who were endangering the soldiers, according to the IDF which also said most were killed in a crowd crush or were run over by the trucks amid the chaos.

Hamas blames the IDF for at least 115 deaths in the incident and claims over 700 were injured. The military said that fewer than 10 of the casualties were a result of Israeli fire and released new details Thursday night claiming that soldiers had fired warning shots and attempted to ease the crush of people looting the convoy of aid trucks that entered northern Gaza early Thursday morning.

Israel has vowed to investigate the deadly incident, which drew renewed attention to the rapidly declining humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The Security Council members say they “take note that an Israeli investigation is underway” and “extend their sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wish a swift and complete recovery for those who have been injured.”

The statement comes less than two days after the US blocked a previous UN Security Council statement blaming Israel for the aid disaster.

The Security Council members “urge Israel to keep border crossings open for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, to facilitate the opening of additional crossings to meet humanitarian needs at scale, and to support the rapid and safe delivery of relief items to people in all of the Gaza Strip.”

They urge for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure and remind all parties that they “must comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

The council members say they also have “grave concern” over the estimation…that all 2.2 million people in Gaza would face alarming levels of acute food insecurity,” and call “for parties to the conflict to allow, facilitate, and enable the immediate, rapid, safe, sustained and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip.”

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