February 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

Stampede, Gunfire Near Gaza Aid Trucks

February 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

Stampede, Gunfire Near Gaza Aid Trucks

Latest Developments

Palestinians mobbed aid trucks admitted to the northern Gaza Strip on February 29, leading to a lethal stampede. The Hamas-controlled Health Ministry said more than 100 people died in the incident at Nabulsi roundabout in western Gaza City, casting the carnage as a result of shelling by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

But the IDF released aerial footage showing thousands of civilians overrunning aid trucks, creating multiple crushes at the site. Some of the Palestinian drivers panicked and rammed into the crowd, causing fatal injuries, the IDF said, adding that at a nearby location, Gazan terrorists also used live fire in the course of looting some of the aid. At another location, the IDF said, troops fired at Palestinians who approached them after having ignored warning shots. The aerial footage showed no heavy military ordnance being used.

Despite the repeated theft of humanitarian aid by Hamas, which has either diverted the goods to its holed-up fighters or sold them on the black market to fund the terrorist group’s war effort, Israel has been enabling increased shipments in the hope that some will still reach needy civilians. There has also been a recent increase in the air-dropping of aid by various countries, a method designed to reduce the risk of goods being pillaged en route.

Expert Analysis

“As with the al-Ahli Hospital blast of October 17, Palestinian propagandists wasted no time in trying to blame this tragedy on Israel rather than on the dire humanitarian conditions created and perpetuated by Hamas. But the truth, in this case clearly documented, is that the Israelis, in the middle of a combat zone, are doing everything possible to relieve besieged civilians — and that Hamas is their shared enemy.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Hamas is hoping for a major event to shift the balance against Israel, and a tragedy like this benefits the group. In the coming days, before an investigation can be carried out to determine what happened, pro-Hamas outlets will spread exaggerated accusations that Israel caused the stampede and is to blame for the deaths of Palestinians. What Hamas and its allies will fail to publicly acknowledge is the fact that terrorist organizations and criminal gangs are siphoning aid, exacerbating the likelihood of such incidents occurring.” —Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

U.S. Bypasses UNRWA in Palestinian Aid Funds,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Coordinates Airdrops of Humanitarian Aid Into Gaza, Bypassing Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Sidesteps UNRWA to Deliver Gaza Aid Via WFP,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Facilitates Record Aid to Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


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