Several killed in Israeli attack on aid truck in Gaza: Report

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A Palestinian woman reacts at the site of an Israeli air attack [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

At least nine people killed in attack on aid distribution vehicle, according to Palestinian media.

At least nine people have been killed and many others were wounded in an Israeli strike on an aid distribution truck in Deir el-Balah, the Wafa news agency reports.

A witness who did not give his name told Al Jazeera that he was on his way to a water well on Sunday when the area was “showered with missiles, shrapnel flying around, body parts in the air”.

“This truck was carrying relief aid, with civilian volunteers on board. They were carrying food items to displaced Gaza people. It is alleged that Deir el-Balah is a safe zone,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

‘Horrific massacre’

Later on Sunday, Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said there were “dozens” of casualties in a “horrific massacre” of aid-seekers near the Kuwaiti roundabout on Salah al-Din Street in southern Gaza City.

Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum, reporting from Rafah said: “It seems that the Israeli military is right now targeting people who are waiting desperately for food, for anything, to survive”.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged humanitarian aid vehicle, which has been the target of Israeli airstrikes resulting in the death of nine and dozens of injured, in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on March 3
Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged aid vehicle, which was hit by an Israeli air attack, killing nine people and injuring dozens more in Deir el-Balah, Gaza, on March 3, 2024 [Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency]

Children die from malnutrition and dehydration

The attacks came as Gaza’s Health Ministry said at least 15 children have died in the past few days from malnutrition and dehydration at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza City.

The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, warned that many more children in Gaza will die of dehydration and malnutrition unless there is direct intervention to ensure aid.

“Now, the child deaths we feared are here and are likely to rapidly increase unless the war ends and obstacles to humanitarian relief are immediately resolved,” Adele Khodr, UNICEF’s regional director for MENA, wrote in a statement.

More than 30,400 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s war on Gaza since October 7, according to Palestinian authorities.

Israel launched its devastating bombardment and ground invasion of the besieged territory after Hamas, which governs Gaza, led an attack on Israel, killing at least 1,139 people, according to an Al Jazeera tally based on official Israeli figures, and seizing about 250 others as captives.

Hamas in Cairo for talks

Negotiations over a potential truce between Israel and Hamas resumed on Sunday, after a United States official indicated that Israel had endorsed a framework for a temporary ceasefire and exchange of Israeli captives and Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas officials arrived in Cairo on Sunday but Israeli media reported that Israel did not send a delegation for the talks, mediated by envoys from Qatar, Egypt and the US.

A senior Hamas official told Al Jazeera that its delegation was in Cairo “to meet with the Egyptian and Qatari brothers and to present the movement’s vision. Whether or not the occupation delegation arrives in Cairo does not concern us,” he said.

One source briefed on the talks told the Reuters news agency a day earlier that Israel could stay away from Cairo unless Hamas first presented the list of captives.

A Palestinian source told the agency that Hamas had so far rejected that demand.

A US official had earlier said Israel had agreed to the framework for a truce deal up for discussion in Cairo.

“There’s a framework deal. The Israelis have more or less accepted it,” a senior US official in the administration of President Joe Biden said on Saturday.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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