Wednesday, 17 April, 2024, 2:33 PM
Advance Search

In Gaza, Palestinians risk death in desperate rush for aid

Strike in Gaza kills 7 aid workers unloading food

Published : Wednesday, 3 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 183

CAIRO, April 2 :  Omar Deeb was nearly hit by Israeli tank fire while searching for food in Gaza, and then saw people killed around him when he set out once more to feed his family in the besieged enclave.
But like many Gazans who could soon face famine he has no choice but to embark on what he calls "death missions", risking his life to provide for his six children, who live in a school shelter.
"If I go, we eat. And if I don , we don eat," Deeb, 37, who lives in Gaza City, told Reuters over the phone.
Securing aid has become a life or death scramble in Gaza during a six-month-old Israeli ground and air campaign that has killed over 32,000 Palestinians and wounding more than 75,000, according to Gaza health authorities.
Israel is carrying out the offensive in retaliation for a Hamas attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7 in which 1,200 people were killed and over 200 people were taken hostage, according to Israeli        tallies.
The United Nations has warned of a looming famine and complained of obstacles to getting aid in and distributing it throughout Gaza. The U.S. also says famine is imminent.
Deeb hasn yet healed from wounds sustained when pieces of a building which were blown apart struck him as he tried grab flour from aid trucks entering northern Gaza.
Deeb also came close to death two other times, he said, first on Feb 29 when the Gaza health ministry said over 100 people were killed by Israeli fire as they ventured to get aid.
Israel said the deaths were caused when people were trampled over or run over by trucks carrying aid.
On March 23, he said Israel opened fire at an aid drop point at Gazas Kuwait roundabout, where several other people were killed around him, mostly members of the Popular Committees, a body formed of traditional family clans and factions to secure aid convoys.
Meanwhile, a US-based charity said Tuesday it was pausing its Gaza aid operations after seven of its staff were killed in a "targeted Israeli strike" as they unloaded desperately needed food aid delivered by sea from Cyprus.
Mondays deaths came as the Israeli army wrapped up a two-week military operation in and around the Al-Shifa Hospital which reduced the besieged territorys largest medical complex to charred ruins.
"World Central Kitchen is devastated to confirm seven members of our team have been killed in an IDF strike in Gaza," the US-based charity said in a statement.
It said those killed were "from Australia, Poland, United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine" and announced that it was "pausing our operations in the region" in response.
The aid group said its team was travelling in a "de-conflicted" area in a convoy of "two armoured cars branded with the WCK logo and a soft skin vehicle" at the time of the strike.
"Despite coordinating movements with the (Israeli army), the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route," it said.
The aid had reached Gaza earlier Monday aboard a barge and two salvage vessels which made the crossing from Cyprus in the second run for a much discussed maritime aid corridor from the European Union member state.
The Israeli military said it was "conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident", adding it had been "working closely with WCK" in the effort to provide aid to Palestinians.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed one of the killed aid workers was Australian national Zomi Frankcom. "This is completely unacceptable," Albanese said.
The bodies were taken to a hospital mortuary in the central town of Deir al-Balah, an AFP photographer reported.
One of them was laid on the floor on a makeshift stretcher, still wearing a top clearly emblazoned with the World Central Kitchens name and logo. Three foreign passports lay nearby.

Latest News
Most Read News
Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka.
Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000.
Phone: PABX- 41053001-06; Online: 41053014; Advertisement: 41053012.
E-mail: info©, news©, advertisement©, For Online Edition: mailobserverbd©
  [ABOUT US]     [CONTACT US]   [AD RATE]   Developed & Maintenance by i2soft