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HomeMiddle EastIsraeli police say investigating ransacking of Gaza-bound assist vehicles

Israeli police say investigating ransacking of Gaza-bound assist vehicles

Israeli police said they have opened an investigation after right-wing activists stopped and ransacked at least seven Gaza-bound humanitarian aid trucks, in a statement received Tuesday.

In an attack that was condemned by Washington, a crowd including young men and teenagers attacked the convoy from Jordan on Monday near the Tarqumya crossing with the occupied West Bank.

The attackers hurled the food cargo bound for besieged Gaza — including bags of cereal, rice, flour, packets of biscuits and freeze-dried soup — to the ground and trampled it.

The Israeli police, citing the “disturbance to public order”, said it had “opened an investigation which resulted in the arrests of several suspects”, the statement said.

Images and footage published by AFP showed the emptied trucks with food products scattered on the road, and images later seen on social media showed trucks being set on fire near the crossing point.

Israeli media reported that the activists were members of Tsav 9, a group that has repeatedly blocked aid trucks heading to the Gaza Strip.

Hana Giat, a right-wing Israeli activist, said: “We have hostages in Gaza and no humanitarian aid should go in before our hostages are out safe, in their homes.”

She said that the groups stopped the trucks on Monday, Israel’s Memorial Day, to prevent aid from being delivered into the hands of Hamas, “who are trying to kill other soldiers and other Israeli citizens and promise to do it again and again”.

– ‘A total outrage’ –

The bloodiest ever Gaza war broke out after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Militants also seized about 250 hostages, 128 of whom Israel estimates remain in Gaza, including 36 the military says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 35,173 people, mostly civilians, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Israel has also imposed a siege on Gaza which has brought dire shortages of food, drinking water, medical supplies and fuel, only occasionally eased by aid shipments and airdrops.

Israel’s top ally the United States voiced concern about the attack, its latest warning to Israel to take greater steps to protect and help Palestinians.

“It is a total outrage that there are people who are attacking and looting these convoys coming from Jordan, going to Gaza to deliver humanitarian assistance,” said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

“We are looking at the tools that we have to respond to this,” he added.

“We are also raising our concerns at the highest level of the Israeli government and it’s something that we make no bones about –- this is completely and utterly unacceptable behaviour.”

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said last week it would close its offices in east Jerusalem, annexed by Israel in 1967, after a series of arson attacks by Israeli activists.


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