Over 100 killed near aid convoy in Gaza

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, at least 100 Palestinians were killed as they tried to access food from aid trucks in the north of the Gaza Strip. The true circumstances of the incident remain unclear: Israel has confirmed the tragedy, but rejects accusations that Israeli forces fired into the crowd. Commentators see the incident as symbolic of the current situation in Gaza.

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Sheer desperation

So much is still unclear, stresses Corriere della Sera:

“The blurred, grey Israeli drone footage shows a mass of indistinguishable bodies, yet the desperation of starving people gathering around the aid vehicles is unmistakable. Military spokesmen say that the troops only fired warning shots to disperse the crowd. Those who fell were trampled in the chaos. ... According to Hamas, which is blaming the Israelis for the deaths of civilians, at least 110 people were killed. US President Joe Biden said his advisors would analyse ‘the contradictory versions’. On top of all this, there is the task of supplying the population with food to prevent the horrors of war from turning into a famine — especially when jihadists are plundering the depots.”

Davide Frattini
The Times (GB) /

Potential turning point regarding ceasefire

This incident could have political consequences, The Times writes:

“The Palestinians claim that a stampede was caused by Israeli troops firing into a crowd gathering around a supply convoy. Israel claims not to have been involved in the stampede. But the facts remain that a large number of civilians queuing for food were killed in an area the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) controls and that Israel bears a responsibility for their deaths. This will almost certainly increase the pressure on the Netanyahu government — chiefly from its strategic ally the United States – to agree to a ceasefire in the coming days.”

Anshel Pfeffer
La Repubblica (IT) /

The daily humiliation

Reporting from Gaza, Palestinian journalist Sami al-Ajrami writes in La Repubblica that he is not surprised by the events:

“It is merely the result of all that has been happening in the past weeks. It is a tragedy with a message, now that the bombardments are less intense, but our daily life has not changed. ... We continue to live in expectation, without prospects for the future, always threatened by death and also by hunger. ... One thing is certain: we are losing our dignity. There is only enough humanitarian aid to support one tenth of the population, and every time a war breaks out among us over who gets it. ... A humiliation that is being enabled because the West is not protesting.”

Sami al-Ajrami
Mladina (SI) /

Faith in civilisation is dying

In his column in Mladina, the rapper N’toko expresses his outrage that countries that claim to respect the rule of law are doing nothing to stop the suffering of the Palestian people:

“What is happening in Gaza not only makes you physically sick, it makes you lose all faith in civilisation, in the state and in its institutions, in democracy and in ‘rule-based order’. Our liberal regimes, which are meant to be the last bastion protecting humanity from sliding into barbarism, have shown themselves to be all bluff. ... The state of the world has not looked this bleak in a long time.”

Miha — N’toko Blažič