Photo by Screenshot via IDF Spokesperson on 29 February, 2024

Israel: Most Casualties From Gaza Stampede Were From Trampling

Public By Pesach Benson • 29 February, 2024

Jerusalem, 29 February, 2024 (TPS) -- An initial military probe of a deadly stampede in Gaza City on Thursday morning has concluded that the majority of Palestinian casualties were the result of trampling and trucks running over rioters.

The Israel Defense Forces was delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood when residents surrounded the convoy of 30 trucks and began looting.

“Dozens of Gazans were injured as a result of pushing and trampling,” the IDF said.

According to an IDF source, following the incident, part of the crowd approached the soldiers accompanying the convoy “in a way that endangered our forces, who responded by firing.”

The incident took place around 4:00 AM shortly after the trucks had passed an army checkpoint in central Gaza.

Some of the trucks managed to continue north, only to come under Palestinian gunfire.

Meanwhile, Palestinians who looted the last truck in the convoy began advancing towards the checkpoint where soldiers were stationed. An officer fired warning shots in the air before shooting at the legs of the Palestinians.

According to the probe, most of the fatalities occurred as Palestinians were trampled by the crowd or run over by the trucks. According to the initial findings, 10 casualties out of the hundreds reportedly injured were the result of Israeli gunfire.

Hamas claimed 104 people were killed and 760 injured, numbers that could not be independently verified.

The terror group issued a statement saying the incident could shatter hopes of a temporary ceasefire and release of hostages.

In response, Order 9, an Israeli movement opposed to humanitarian aid deliveries blamed Hamas for the deaths.

“While we are trying to stop with our bodies the trucks of supplies and aid to Hamas that the State of Israel chooses to move lazily, we are witnessing a cruel delegitimization campaign in the world,” the movement said.

“Apart from the fact that this is a lie that only weakens Israel, the massacre carried out today by the terrorist organization Hamas of Gazan citizens is further proof that a country that wants life must not transfer these trucks that provide breathing space and strength to the murderous Hamas that harms civilians. Those who want to live should make sure that no aid goes through until the last of the abductees returns.”

Humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza are unpopular among Israelis. For weeks, protesters chanting “Don’t feed Hamas” have tried to disrupt the aid trucks.

To bypass Hamas’s hijacking of humanitarian aid deliveries entering Gaza through the Rafah, Israel began routing the trucks through the old Karni crossing directly to northern Gaza.

Also on Thursday, during a Jordanian military airdrop of humanitarian supplies into northern Gaza, strong winds blew some of the packages into Israeli territory.

The IDF stressed that the landings were accidental and that there were no fears of a security incident.

Since Feb. 27, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and France have dropped more than 45 tons of food, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid into the Strip.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.