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Condemnation of Israel's Actions Grows. Biden Promises Humanitarian Air Drops to Gaza.
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By Associated Press
Published 2 months ago on
March 1, 2024

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At least 115 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded, the Health Ministry in Gaza said. Israeli troops apparently fired heavily into the crowd, as more than 80% of the wounded brought to one hospital had been struck by gunfire, the hospital’s chief said Friday.

Israel said many of the dead were trampled in a chaotic crush for the food aid, and that its troops only fired when they felt endangered by the crowd.

The number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip has soared above 30,000 since Israel’s war on Hamas began nearly five months ago after Hamas-led militants stormed across southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 others hostage.

Israel responded with a blistering offensive in the Gaza Strip that has created a humanitarian catastrophe and devastation in northern areas like Gaza City, which are largely cut off from the rest of the territory with little aid entering.

BIDEN SAYS US WILL BEGIN AIRDROPS OF HUMANITARIAN AID TO GAZA

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Friday that the U.S. will begin air-dropping humanitarian assistance into Gaza, a day after witnesses say Israeli troops killed dozens of Palestinians as crowds raced to pull goods off an aid convoy.

Biden said the air drops will begin in the “coming days.” He made the announcement while hosting Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House.

At least 115 Palestinians were killed on Thursday and more than 750 others were injured, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

TURKEY DENOUNCES ISRAELI FORCES FIRING ON PALESTINIANS 

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey denounced Israeli forces firing on Palestinians waiting for the delivery of aid as “yet another crime against humanity.”

In a statement issued late Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Israel of using “starvation as a weapon of war in Gaza” and alleged that the latest event, which left more than 100 people dead, was evidence “of Israel’s intention to destroy the entire Palestinian population.”

“The entire world must realise that the atrocity in Gaza is about to become a global catastrophe with repercussions far beyond the region,” the ministry said. “We therefore call on all those with influence over the Israeli government to stop the ongoing violence in Gaza.”

Families and supporters of hostages held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip carry stretchers as they begin their third day of a four-day march to Jerusalem to demand the immediate release of all hostages, in Beit Shemesh, Israel, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP/Maya Alleruzzo)

PALESTINIAN RIVALS HAMAS AND FATAH MEET IN MOSCOW, FIRST MEETING SINCE OCT. 7

BEIRUT — Representatives of rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah met in an official capacity for the first time since Oct. 7 this week at a summit hosted by Russia, along with other Palestinian factions.

Following two days of meetings, the factions said in a joint statement Friday that they aim to hold more rounds of meetings to reach “national unity that includes all Palestinian forces and factions within the framework of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

Hamas is not part of the Fatah-dominated PLO, which has officially recognized the state of Israel. Hamas does not — although its leaders have signaled that they are interested in joining the PLO, which would at least implicitly entail recognizing Israel based upon pre-1967 borders.

AIRSTRIKE IN SYRIA KILLS IRANIAN NAVAL CAPTAIN, NEWS AGENCY REPORTS

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian news outlet reported that an Israeli airstrike Friday near a coastal Syrian town killed a navy captain of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

The report by the semi-official Tasnim news agency identified the dead guard member as Reza Zarei, saying he was in Syria on an advisory mission.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, reported three explosions in a suburb of the coastal town of Baniyas. It said a house was struck, killing an Iranian adviser and two others whom it did not identify.

There was no comment from Israel or the Syrian government.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of war-torn Syria in recent years.

Israel rarely acknowledges its actions in Syria, but it has said that it targets bases of Iran-allied militant groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

In January, an Israeli airstrike on the capital Damascus killed five Iranian advisers.

 

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