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Israel army says civilians torched Gaza-bound aid truck in West Bank

By AFP

May 17, 2024 07:02 PM


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Israel's military said Friday that "dozens of Israeli civilians" set fire the previous evening to an aid truck in the occupied West Bank headed for war-torn Gaza.

Local media reported that Israeli settlers were behind the attack, which the army said injured the driver as well as Israeli soldiers.

The incident took place near Kokhav Hashahar, an Israeli settlement in the central West Bank, a territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

According to the army, Israeli soldiers intervened to "separate the Israeli civilians from the attacked Israeli driver" and provided medical assistance.

The group then "responded with violence", and three Israeli soldiers were "lightly injured", the army said, condemning "all forms of violence against its soldiers and security forces".

On Monday, dozens of people blocked and vandalised a convoy of aid trucks driving to the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media identified them as part of a far-right group opposed to allowing aid into Gaza.

The trucks were attacked in Israel, shortly after passing through the Tarqumiya checkpoint from the West Bank.

Images posted on social media show Israeli soldiers watching on as the attackers destroy the aid.

The latest incident comes just hours after the army said on Thursday that the Tarqumia and Beitunia checkpoints "now also function as inspection points for aid" destined for Gaza.

Jordanian authorities said "Israeli extremists" in the West Bank attacked two aid convoys sent on May 1 from Jordan and another convoy of 35 trucks sent on May 7.

Israel has been fighting their bloodiest war ever in Gaza since the Palestinian militants attacked Israel on October 7.

Despite the United Nations warning of looming famine, Israeli authorities have tightly controlled much needed humanitarian aid into Gaza over the course of more than seven months of war.

Very little aid has made it through Kerem Shalom crossing in southern Gaza, and Rafah crossing has been completely shut since Israeli troops took control of the area last week.

Israel has vowed to defeat remaining Hamas forces in the southern city of Rafah, which it says is the last bastion of the group whose October 7 attack triggered the war.

The Hamas attack on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

More than 35,303 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in Gaza since the war broke out, according to data provided by the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.


AFP


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