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At least 104 killed, 760 injured in Gaza after Israel fires on crowd waiting for aid

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-29 19:11
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Children sit among the rubble in Gaza City, on Feb 27, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

GAZA/JERUSALEM - Israeli forces opened fire Thursday on a crowd of Palestinians waiting for aid on a coastal road west of Gaza City, killing 104 people and wounding more than 760, Palestinian officials said.

The attack occurred on Al Rashid Street, where many of the wounded were in critical condition, said Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry. He said the dead and injured, many with serious injuries, were taken to Al-Shifa Hospital, which is overwhelmed and under-equipped.

Eyewitnesses said the Israeli army targeted a large gathering of civilians on the street.

An Israeli military spokesman said the troops fired "in self-defense" after Gazans attacked and looted aid trucks that entered the Gaza Strip early in the morning. He said dozens of Gazans were injured in the chaos, some by being crushed or trampled.

He said some of the Gazans approached the soldiers in "a threatening manner", forcing them to respond with live fire.

The Hamas-run health ministry said earlier Thursday that more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and 70,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched a massive offensive against Hamas in October 2023.

Israel says the operation is a response to a Hamas raid across the southern Israeli border that killed about 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostages.

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