Israeli forces kill 112 Gazans in “flour massacre,” US vetoes condemnation – Day 146

Israeli forces kill 112 Gazans in “flour massacre,” US vetoes condemnation – Day 146

Israeli forces open fire on Gazan aid-seekers, killing over 100, then blame everyone but themselves; US vetoes UN Security Council condemnation of massacre; US mulls air dropping aid – a “negligible” move that has drawn wide criticism; more malnutrition deaths; Gaza’s agricultural sector is decimated; West Bank Palestinian and settler deaths; EuroMed report on torture; more

By IAK staff, from reports

The “Flour Massacre”

Middle East Monitor reports: At least 104 Palestinians were killed and 760 others injured when Israeli forces shelled a crowd waiting for humanitarian aid south of Gaza City on Thursday, the Health Ministry in the enclave said.

“The Occupation had the premeditated intention to commit this horrific massacre,” it said in a statement.

Eyewitnesses said: As soon as people approached incoming trucks carrying food aid, they were shot at. There were attack drones in the sky. There was also fire from naval forces and armored vehicles in the vicinity.

And: “As the Israeli military opened fire on the aid seekers, Israeli tanks advanced and ran over many of the dead and injured bodies in the southwestern parts of Gaza City. It is a massacre, on top of the starvation threatening citizens in Gaza.”

The Cradle reports: The US, on 29 February, vetoed a UN Security Council (UNSC) statement that would have condemned Israel for the mass murder of over 100 Palestinian civilians who were awaiting the delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza City.

“We don’t have all the facts on the ground – that’s the problem,” US deputy ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told reporters.

According to Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, 14 of the 15 council members supported the statement advanced by Algeria.

Tel Aviv changed its story multiple times on Thursday, first claiming the majority of victims were killed by the stampede and later saying that soldiers opened fire only after feeling “threatened.” Officials have yet to explain how the crowds of underfed and displaced civilians posed any threat to them.

Thursday’s veto is the fifth time Washington has blocked a UNSC statement or ceasefire resolution that would hold Israel accountable for the atrocities it has committed in Gaza.
Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital, said the number of casualties was too high to be handled by ambulance. Many were loaded onto a humanitarian aid truck, others were brought to the hospital by donkey cart.
Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital, said the number of casualties was too high to be handled by ambulance. Many were loaded onto a humanitarian aid truck, others were brought to the hospital by donkey cart. (photo)

Dr Hussam Abu Safia, director of the Kamal Adwan Hospital, says the situation at the medical facility is at breaking point as it struggles to cope with victims from the Israeli attack on Palestinians waiting for aid.

“This is exactly the situation we had been warning about, the hospital being out of service amid this massive influx of patients,” Abu Safia told Al Jazeera.

“We are operating on batteries. Most of our patients are in critical condition, which requires urgent surgical intervention, but we have no operating rooms. I stand helpless. We are simply administering first-aid treatment only.”

Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom Husam Zomlot has called for action from the International Criminal Court (ICC) after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians waiting for food assistance in northern Gaza.

“This is genocide: Shooting and killing dozens [of] starving people waiting for aid trucks to feed their children in the besieged north of Gaza,” Zomlot said in a social media post.

“This is Israel’s barbarism and savagery. Every state that enables this or stays silent is complicit, and [ICC prosecutor] @KarimKhanQC is still dragging his feet.”

Initial investigations by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor confirm that Israeli army gunfire killed and wounded dozens of starving Palestinian civilians who were attempting to receive humanitarian aid in western Gaza at dawn on Thursday. The Israeli army is striving to disassociate itself from the atrocity, Euro-Med Monitor said, by releasing a shattered aerial video clip and arguing that the large number of civilian deaths was caused by a stampede and trampling.

In a brief statement, the rights organization said that its research teams observed the event from the very first moments and recorded that Israeli tanks opened heavy fire on groups of Palestinian civilians attempting to receive humanitarian aid west and south of Gaza City. As a result, 112 civilians were killed and 760 were injured, while many victims are believed to remain in the targeted area.

Euro-Med Monitor stated that the evidence—which is supported by video footage showing the shooting operation—demonstrates that dozens of victims suffered gunshot wounds, rather than being run over or crushed, in contrast to what the Israeli army spokesman claimed. (Read the full statement here.)

Large crowds of Palestinians gather daily to wait for humanitarian aid deliveries.
Large crowds of Palestinians gather daily to wait for humanitarian aid deliveries. (photo)

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir says the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza endangers Israeli soldiers and must stop after more than 100 Palestinians were reported killed while trying to get aid in Gaza City.

“Today it was proven that the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza is not only madness while our hostages are held in the Strip … but also endangers IDF soldiers,” Ben-Gvir said, calling the deliveries “oxygen to Hamas”.

Times of Israel reports on an initial military probe into the incident: Following a stampede as Palestinians tried to rush aid trucks, which reportedly caused dozens of casualties, a small group of Palestinians began to move toward IDF troops stationed in the area.

The soldiers fired warning shots in the air and shot at the legs of those getting closer to the forces.

The probe finds that troops hit some 10 Palestinians in the area.

NOTE: No explanation is given as to how the probe was conducted. 
Israel has not proven itself trustworthy in its dealings and “investigations.” Among Israel’s recent lies are numerous atrocity stories about the October 7th attack that have since been proven untrue (additional examples here). Previously, Israel has been caught in many lies – for example, this and this and this.

Israeli spokesman Eylon Levy has blamed, without presenting evidence, “Gaza truck drivers” for the killing of more than 100 Palestinians after Israeli soldiers opened fire on a crowd waiting for food in northern Gaza.

“My heart goes out to the civilians who got trampled in a stampede and run over by Gazan truck drivers. I can’t imagine the desperation of knowing the Hamas terror regime is hijacking vital aid, while UNRWA covers it up,” Levy said in a social media post.

NOTE: Video evidence, eyewitness statements, and doctors’ remarks contradict this allegation.
NOTE: Israel has long tried to dismantle UNWRA’s humanitarian support of Palestinian refugees. The 6-page dossier Israel issued, allegedly proving the guilt of twelve UNRWA employees out of a staff of 13,000, reportedly offers no compelling evidence – yet powerful countries have halted their financial support for the organization.
People gathered to receive food in Rafah, as Gazans face widespread hunger.
People gathered to receive food in Rafah, as Gazans face widespread hunger. (photo)

Al Jazeera reports: Following Israel’s killing of over 100 aid seekers, the Biden administration said that “too many Palestinians died today.”

Speaking to reporters, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, “People are swarming these trucks because they’re hungry, because they need food, because they need medicine and other assistance. And that tells you that we need to do more to get humanitarian assistance in,” said Miller.

Miller said that the US is “pressing for answers” and that the Israeli government is conducting a probe of the incident.

NOTE: Israel has on multiple occasions fired at individuals waiting for food aid (most recently killing over 100 at one time), at least once allegedly sending fake text messages to Gazans, telling them to assemble and then shooting at them when they did; Israel has also attacked food aid convoys and those who accompanied them several times. Additionally, Israeli citizens have blocked a border crossing for weeks with no meaningful attempt by Israel to reopen it.

Al Jazeera reports: White House spokeswoman Olivia Dalton says the mass shooting against aid seekers in Gaza “needs to be thoroughly investigated”, reiterating that “too many” civilians have been killed in the war.

Asked whether Biden would consider withholding aid to Israel, Dalton dismissed the idea. “They are a close ally that will remain a close ally. They are in the throes of an existential battle – an existential threat to their existence from Hamas – and we’re going to continue to support them in that process,” she said.

The US often calls on Israel to investigate its own abuses, but Israeli authorities rarely ever prosecute violations by their soldiers and often exonerate them of wrongdoing despite publicly available evidence.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING (B’Tselem): WATCH: Israeli whitewashing & absurd punishment are not exceptions. They are policy.


Axios reports: The White House is exploring the possibility of airdropping aid from U.S. military planes into Gaza as deliveries by land become increasingly difficult, four U.S. officials told Axios.

The fact the Biden administration is even considering such a move underscores the growing concern within the White House about the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, especially in the north where there is a growing threat of starvation, U.S. officials said.

Oxfam does not support US airdrops to Gaza, which would mostly serve to relieve the guilty consciences of senior US officials whose policies are contributing to the ongoing atrocities and risk of famine in Gaza,” Scott Paul, who conducts humanitarian policy at Oxfam America, said in a statement.

“While Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the absolute brink, dropping a paltry, symbolic amount of aid into Gaza with no plan for its safe distribution would not help and be deeply degrading to Palestinians. Instead of indiscriminate airdrops in Gaza, the US should cut the flow of weapons to Israel that are used in indiscriminate attacks.”

Jeremy Konyndyk, the president of Refugees International, has said that the amount of aid delivered in airdrops is so “negligible” that it helps “perpetuate the overall blockade strategy”.

“Facilitating airdrops – and driving media coverage around them – gives the public appearance that Israel is cooperating with humanitarian efforts,” said Konyndyk, who is also a former USAID official.

“The fact that they need be considered is a major policy failure,” he said.

More detail: Can airdrops over Gaza replace humanitarian aid convoys?

From Dave Harden, the former director for the occupied West Bank and Gaza for the US Agency for International Development (USAID):


Humanitarian situation in Gaza

Gaza’s health ministry says 4 children died of dehydration and starvation Thursday. Their deaths bring the toll from hunger in Gaza this week to 10.

Footage authenticated by Al Jazeera’s verification unit Sanad shows a child being pulled from under the rubble of a collapsed building targeted by an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City.

The visibly emaciated child was rescued by a civil defense unit after surviving nine days amid the ruins of his collapsed home in the Zeitoun neighborhood, where fighting has been raging for the last few weeks.

Al Jazeera reports: Israeli protesters are again trying to block aid from entering the strip, where humanitarian groups say the threat of famine continues to spread amid widespread Israeli restrictions on vital humanitarian assistance.

“Israeli protesters again blocked aid trucks en route to Gaza via [the Karem Abu Salem] Kerem Shalom crossing,” the Israeli rights group Gisha said in a social media post. Israeli soldiers have done little to dissuade the protesters, who have blocked the crossing during similar demonstrations over the past several weeks.

Israeli journalist Oren Ziv also reported that right-wing Israeli settlers entered the Erez crossing with Gaza, calling on the government to allow them to settle the strip. In a video shared by Ziv, soldiers stand by or talk with the crowd as settlers work to build a structure in the background.

OCHA reports: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the entire food supply chain in Gaza has been severely disrupted with 97 per cent of ground water reportedly unfit for human consumption, about 27 per cent of greenhouses destroyed, more than 40 per cent of croplands and dozens of home barns, broiler farms and sheep farms damaged, more than 600 agricultural wells damaged, and the fishing sector grounded to a halt.

On 28 February, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) highlighted that the significant damage incurred by the agricultural sector in Gaza combined with limited commercial food imports have led to food scarcity and soaring prices at a time when people’s purchasing power has declined.

West Bank

Defense For Children International-Palestine reports: Israeli forces shot and killed Bashar Nihad Abdulatif Hanani, 17, in the back by Israeli forces around 1 a.m. during a military incursion into the Palestinian town of Beit Furik, east of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Bashar was allegedly throwing stones towards Israeli soldiers located about 25 to 35 meters (82 to 115 feet) away.

WAFA reports: Two Palestinian brothers were shot dead and a third was injured by Israeli occupation soldiers at the entrance of the town of Beit Awwa, southwest of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, according to medical sources.

The young men were gathering herbs at the entrance of the town when the deadly assault occurred, according to witnesses.

The New Arab reports: A gunman opened fire at a gas station near the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, killing two male Israeli settlers, the army and medics said.

“The terrorist was neutralized,” the army said, adding troops were pursuing other suspects in the area.

Thursday’s shooting came days after three Palestinian men killed one Israeli and wounded several others, including a young pregnant woman, near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim.

a victim of Israeli torture
a victim of Israeli torture (photo)


In a new statement issued on Wednesday following the Israeli detention, investigation, and interrogation of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, the Euro-Med Monitor team confirmed that it had received horrifying testimonies and had personally interviewed recently-released victims of cruel torture practices that appeared to have a sadistic bent.

These attacks have left deep wounds and numerous scars on the survivors’ bodies and have negatively affected their psychological health, stated the rights group. It appears from the documented testimonies that the attacks were carried out in retaliation and as collective punishment for being Palestinian.

Ramadan Shamlakh, a 21-year-old who lives in Gaza’s Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, told the Euro-Med Monitor team that the Israeli army arbitrarily detained him and used him as a human shield, in violation of international law.

The soldiers then took turns torturing him with cruel methods, leaving him with extensive scarring on his face and body, some of which will never heal, including the amputation of an ear. (Read the full report here.)

Other news:

Al Jazeera: Smotrich calls for settlement expansion following shooting
Middle East Monitor: Settlers breached Erez crossing, entered Gaza
Al Jazeera: Israel appropriates 650 acres of land in occupied West Bank


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – February 29: at least 30,451* (30,035 in Gaza* (over 13,230 children, 8,860 women), and at least 416 in the West Bank (100 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 38,066 Palestinian deaths.

About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.

About 2.2 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Crisis, Emergency, or Famine levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – February 29: at least 75,057** (including at least 70,457 in Gaza and 4,600 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – February 29: ~1,392 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~574 were civilians, 373 or 337 were security and/or military forces, ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 240 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 13 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

NBC reports: “According to the latest available IDF data… nearly 1 in 5, or 17%, of all Israel’s losses have come not at the hands of Hamas but from mishaps on its own side.”

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel on October 7 were caused by Israeli soldiers.

*Previously, IAK did not include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile was being disputed. However, given that much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, Israel had previously bombed the hospital and has attacked many others, Israel is prohibiting outside experts from investigating the scene, and since the UN and other agencies are including the deaths from the attack in their cumulative totals, if Americans knew is now also doing so.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

For more news, go here and hereBroadcast news from the region is here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.

Enter your email address below to receive our latest articles right in your inbox.