UN aid agency: Gaza convoy came under Israeli fire
An aid convoy operated by the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees was targeted by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
A picture taken from a position in southern Israel along the border with the Gaza Strip on December 29, 2023 shows an Israeli military helicopter firing a missile towards Gaza amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)
The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said Friday an aid convoy came under fire from Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, without causing any casualties.
“Israeli soldiers fired at an aid convoy as it returned from northern Gaza along a route designated by the Israeli army — our international convoy leader and his team were not injured but one vehicle sustained damage,” UNRWA’s director in Gaza, Tom White, wrote on X.
According to UNRWA, the incident took place on Thursday afternoon.
Responding to requests for comment, the Israeli military said it was looking into reports about the incident.
Earlier on Friday the UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, described on X “an impossible situation for the people of Gaza, and for those trying to help them.”
ALSO READ: It’s a fight to the finish
Aid convoys had been shot at, he said, without elaborating.
“You think getting aid into Gaza is easy? Think again,” he said.
Israeli officials have laid the blame for the limited humanitarian deliveries into Gaza on aid agencies themselves.
Earlier this month, Israeli President Isaac Herzog claimed there had been “a failure by the United Nations predominantly, and other partners in the inflow of trucks into Gaza.”
The Israeli military body responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, COGAT, took a swipe at UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini on Sunday regarding aid flow.
“Right now, hundreds of trucks after inspection are waiting on the Egyptian side to be received up by your organisation,” COGAT wrote on X.
“Instead of tweeting, come work with us to increase humanitarian aid. We are ready. Are you?
Lazzarini responded on Friday, describing as “baseless misinformation” the remarks by Israeli officials who he said “have insinuated or directly held UNRWA responsible for gaps in aid deliveries.”
“The delivery of much needed and urgent aid continues to be limited in quantities and riddled with logistical hurdles,” he said in a statement.
Lazzarini described “a state of despair” in Gaza, with Palestinians going to UNRWA warehouses “to take supplies or interrupt aid trucks picking food to eat on the spot.”
– By: © Agence France-Presse