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UN Security Council voices ‘deep concern’ over deadly attack on Gaza aid convoy

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has expressed “deep concern” after nearly 120 Palestinians lost their lives in an Israeli attack on civilians waiting to receive humanitarian aid southwest of Gaza City.

The joint statement from members added that several hundred people were also injured in the Thursday incident, and some had sustained “gunshot wounds as observed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).”

It, however, did not specify who was responsible for the gunfire.

The Security Council members went on to “extend their sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wish a swift and complete recovery for those who have been injured.”

The members also “urged Israel to keep border crossings open for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, to facilitate the opening of additional crossings to meet humanitarian needs at scale, and to support the rapid and safe delivery of relief items to people in all of the Gaza Strip.”

They urged for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, and reminded all parties that they “must comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

The council members said they also have “grave concern” over the estimation…that all 2.2 million people in Gaza would face alarming levels of acute food insecurity.

They called for parties to the conflict to allow, facilitate, and enable the immediate, rapid, safe, sustained and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale to the Palestinian civilian population throughout the Gaza Strip.

The statement comes less than two days after the US blocked a previous UN Security Council statement, blaming Israel for the aid calamity.

One more Palestinian man died from his wounds on Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths from the Israeli military’s “flour massacre” against a group of Palestinians in Gaza who were waiting for humanitarian aid to 118, the Health Ministry in the besieged enclave said.

“A citizen died at Kamal Adwan Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the Rasheed Street massacre on Thursday morning,” the ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the European Union has censured restrictions imposed by the Israeli regime on the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

The bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, in a statement, recalled the recent Israeli attack on civilians in the blockaded territory, describing it as “unjustifiable.”

“We request an impartial international investigation on this tragic event allowing for a clear picture of the events and responsibilities,” he said, urging Israel to comply with the rules of international law and to protect the distribution of humanitarian aid to civilian populations.

Borrell urged Israel to “fully cooperate” with the UN agencies and other humanitarian actors involved in the humanitarian response and to allow free, unimpeded and safe humanitarian access through all crossing points.

“We condemn the restrictions imposed by Israel on the entry of humanitarian aid and on the opening of crossing points,” he said.

Borrell added that the EU also urges Israel to remove immediately the obstacles at the Kerem Shalom crossing and open the access in the north at Karni and Erez crossings so as to open the port of Ashdod to humanitarian aid and to allow a direct humanitarian corridor from Jordan.

Borrell has been one of the most outspoken European politicians on the ongoing Israeli ground and air strikes against Gaza, calling on Western countries, and particularly the United States, to stop providing arms to Israel in light of the growing number of civilian casualties in the besieged coastal territory.

Last month, the EU top diplomat reacted to US President Joe Biden’s recent comment that Israel’s military action was “over the top,” noting, “If you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed.”

The chief EU diplomat also slammed an order by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the more than one million Palestinians sheltering in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah need to be “evacuated” ahead of a planned military operation there.

“They are going to evacuate — where? To the moon? Where are they going to evacuate these people?” Borrell asked.

At least 30,320 Palestinians, most of them women and children, have been confirmed killed and 71,533 others injured so far during Israel’s genocidal war, which began following Operation al-Aqsa Storm by Gaza-based resistance movements.

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