UN: ‘large number of gunshot wounds’ among injured in Gaza aid debacle

UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES – A UN team visiting a Gaza hospital Friday reported seeing “a large number of gunshot wounds” among dozens of Palestinians being treated after Israeli troops opened fire at a food aid point.

UN staff, the first to visit Gaza’s north in more than a week, spent just over two hours at Al-Shifa hospital, where they delivered medication and fuel.

The visit comes in the wake of more than 100 deaths on Thursday, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry, after Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd scrambling for food aid from a truck convoy in northern Gaza.

“Al-Shifa hospital has reportedly admitted more than 700 people who were injured yesterday, about 200 of whom are still being hospitalized,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general.

They also received the bodies of more than 70 people killed in the incident, hospital staff told the team which was comprised of representatives from the UN Humanitarian Office (OCHA), WHO and UNICEF.

Among the injured, the team reported “there was a large number of gunshot wounds,” Dujarric said, although he added that he did not know whether the representatives were able to examine the bodies of those killed.

According to the area’s Hamas-run health ministry, the death toll stood at 115, with some 760 injured.

The Israeli military said a “stampede” occurred when thousands of Gazans surrounded the convoy. 

Israeli sources have confirmed to AFP that Israeli forces at the scene opened fire, having perceived the crowds near the trucks as a “threat.”

The Israeli-Hamas war began on October 7 with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show. 

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed 30,228 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry. –AFP