Israel-Hamas war: 104 people killed, over 700 injured waiting for aid in Gaza

World Thursday 29/February/2024 21:21 PM
By: DW
Israel-Hamas war:  104 people killed, over 700 injured waiting for aid in Gaza

Martin Griffiths, the UN's under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordination, voiced another urgent plea to stop the conflict grinding on in the Gaza Strip.

"Life is draining out of Gaza at terrifying speed," he wrote Thursday on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Israeli forces opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians at an aid distribution point in Gaza City on Thursday, killing at least 104 people and wounding over 700, say Palestinian health officials.

"Even after close to five months of brutal hostilities," he wrote, "Gaza still has the ability to shock us."

Israel has disputed Palestinian statements regarding the incident, first saying those killed were trampled or run over by aid trucks and later that an initial investigation showed the Israeli military had opened fire, believing the crowd of people "posed a threat," but caused only 10 of the casualties. 

The Israeli government is reviewing possible curbs on access to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, according to a Reuters news report, citing a government spokesperson.

"The specific issue of prayer on the Temple Mount, in Al Aqsa, is currently still under discussion by the cabinet," Reuters quoted government spokesperson Avi Hyman as saying in a briefing on Thursday.

It follows media reports in Israel that far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir was overruled on the matter of issuing a quota for members of Israel's Muslim minority wishing to hold prayers at the sacred site.

Earlier this month, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would allow Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan but would set limits according to security needs.

The mosque is part of the Haram al-Sharif complex and is the third holiest site in Islam.