June 23, 2024

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News, hostage release and more

News, hostage release and more

The Israeli military released an updated timeline of Thursday's aid disaster in Gaza, again saying a stampede preceded the shooting.

Israeli military spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari on Sunday released an updated timeline of events surrounding the killing of more than 100 people in an aid convoy in northern Gaza on Thursday.

He claimed that the stampede began before the Israeli forces fired their first warning shots, and that those shots were intended to disperse the crowd.

He added that Israeli forces later opened fire on the “thieves” who approached them and “posed a direct threat.”

“Our initial review indicated that after warning shots were fired to disperse the stampede, and after our forces began to withdraw, several looters approached our forces and posed a direct threat to them. Based on the initial review, soldiers responded to several people,” Hajari said in a video statement in English. “.

This account contradicts what witnesses told CNN after the disaster in which at least 118 people were killed, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. CNN cannot independently confirm these numbers due to the lack of international media access to Gaza during times of war.

Eyewitnesses, including local journalist Khader Al-Zaanoun, said that chaos and confusion at the site only began when Israeli forces opened fire.

He added that most of the deaths and injuries occurred as a result of aid trucks colliding with people while the drivers were trying to escape the gunfire.

Hajjari said in his statement on Sunday that most of the injuries and deaths were the result of the stampede.

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He said that the Israeli army has opened an investigation “to further examine the incident, which will help us reduce the risk of such a tragic incident occurring again during one of our humanitarian operations.”

Text of the statement issued by the occupation army:

“In the early hours of Thursday morning, the Israeli army facilitated a humanitarian operation to help deliver aid to civilians in northern Gaza.

This was the fourth night in a row that we facilitated such an operation, because we want humanitarian aid to reach the civilians in Gaza who need it.

You see, our war is not against the people of Gaza. Our war against Hamas:

Hamas is the one that started this war on October 7. It is Hamas that has caused enormous suffering to civilians on both sides of the border.

The IDF has completed a preliminary review of the unfortunate incident in which civilians in Gaza were trampled to death and injured during the attack on an aid convoy.

Our initial review confirmed that the IDF did not carry out any attacks against the aid convoy.

Most of the Palestinians were killed or injured as a result of the stampede.

From the information we gathered from commanders and forces on the ground, our initial review indicated that after warning shots were fired to disperse the stampede, and after our forces began to withdraw, several bandits approached our forces and posed a direct threat to them. . According to initial review, the military responded to several individuals.

As professional military personnel bound by international law, we are committed to carefully examining our operations.

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We have opened an investigation to further examine the incident, which will help us reduce the risk of such a tragic incident occurring again during one of our humanitarian operations.

The incident will be examined by the Fact-Finding and Evaluation Mechanism: an independent, professional and expert body.

In the interest of transparency, we will share updates as our exam develops, hopefully in the coming days.

I want to make something clear: our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza.

That's why we help; Establishing humanitarian corridors; Unilaterally impose a humanitarian truce; And be careful in our use of force.

He added, “Israel and the international community are working together to allow the entry and distribution of humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.”