UN Chief Calls for Investigation into Fatal Aid Convoy Incident in Israel-Gaza Conflict


The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called for an independent investigation into the deaths of over 100 Palestinians during an aid delivery in Gaza. The incident resulted in at least 117 people killed and more than 760 injured. Guterres condemned the incident, emphasizing the urgent need to assist “desperate civilians.” While Hamas accused Israel of firing at civilians, Israel claimed that most fatalities occurred in a crush after it fired warning shots. International criticism of Israel escalated, with French President Emmanuel Macron stating that civilians had been “targeted by Israeli soldiers.”

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borell, condemned the incident as “totally unacceptable carnage.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed condemnation on social media, addressing the incident in Gaza where over 100 people were reportedly killed or injured while seeking life-saving aid. Guterres emphasized the urgent need for help, especially in the north of Gaza, where the UN has been unable to deliver aid for over a week.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry labeled the incident a “massacre.” In response, the UN Security Council arranged a closed-door emergency meeting to address the situation. During the meeting, Algeria, representing the Arab nations in the council, proposed a draft statement blaming Israeli forces for “opening fire.”

Although 14 out of the 15 Council members backed the motion, the United States prevented its approval, as reported by AP news agency. Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour, speaking to reporters afterward, stated that the US envoy, Robert Wood, cited the unclear nature of the incident as the reason for blocking the motion.

The incident on Thursday occurred shortly after 04:45 (02:45 GMT) at the Nabulsi roundabout, situated on the southwest edge of Gaza City. A convoy comprising 30 lorries loaded with Egyptian aid was traveling north through what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) termed a “humanitarian corridor,” which they asserted their forces were safeguarding. Rear Adm Daniel Hagari, the IDF’s chief spokesman, mentioned that civilians encircled the convoy, and individuals started to climb onto the lorries.

“Some individuals initiated violent acts, resorting to pushing and even trampling fellow Gazans to death, while also engaging in the looting of humanitarian supplies,” he remarked. “Regrettably, this incident led to the loss of dozens of lives and injuries among the Gazan population.”

According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), tanks attempted to disperse the crowd with warning shots, but withdrew when the situation escalated with the crowd growing from hundreds to thousands. Hamas disputed the IDF’s account, presenting “undeniable” evidence of direct firing at civilians, including headshots aimed at immediate killing.

The incident occurred just before Gaza’s health ministry reported that over 30,000 people, including 21,000 children and women, had lost their lives in Gaza since the commencement of the current conflict on 7 October. Additionally, 7,000 were reported missing, and 70,450 were recorded as injured.

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