Israeli forces fired at Palestinians waiting for aid in northern Gaza, eyewitnesses say

CNNIsraeli forces opened fire on people waiting for aid on Monday night in northern Gaza, eyewitnesses told CNN.

The shooting took place at the Kuwait Roundabout on Rasheed Street in Gaza City shortly before midnight, said one eyewitness, who had traveled there to try to get flour.

“There was sporadic fire… we could see the red tracer bullets over our heads,” another eyewitness, a local journalist, told CNN.

CNN has asked the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment.

The incident came just days after one of the worst single tragedies to occur during Israel’s war with Hamas, when scores of Palestinians were killed trying to access food aid in Gaza City.

Last Thursday, IDF troops opened fire as Palestinians attempted to take aid off trucks entering northern Gaza at night. The aid trucks tried to leave the area, accidentally ramming others and causing further deaths and injuries, an eyewitness told CNN. At least 118 people were killed and 760 injured, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The IDF said it had fired warning shots to disperse the crowd after seeing that people were being trampled.

It is unclear if there were any casualties in Monday’s incident. Overnight data from the health ministry did not specify.

Israel has for months limited the flow of aid into Gaza, however some trucks have been allowed into the northern part of the strip where hunger is most acute. Amid a collapse of public authority in Gaza, the arrival of aid trucks has sparked chaos and disorder that often leaves thousands at risk of harm during the distribution.

Thousands of residents of northern Gaza often travel for miles to wait for hours in the hope of receiving some of the limited aid entering the enclave. Many leave with nothing.

The World Health Organization on Monday warned that a growing number of children in Gaza are dying of starvation and dehydration. A WHO team found “severe levels of malnutrition, children dying of starvation, serious shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies,” during a recent visit to sites in northern Gaza.

After last week’s deadly aid delivery, the United States for the first time air-dropped humanitarian aid into Gaza. More than 38,000 meals were dropped Saturday along the Gaza coastline in a combined operation by the US Air Force and the Royal Jordanian Air Force. A further 36,800 were dropped Tuesday, according to US Central Command.

The growing risk of starvation in Gaza has reinforced the urgency of ongoing ceasefire talks. US Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday called for an “immediate ceasefire” to last at least six weeks, saying Palestinians in the enclave are “starving” because of “inhumane” conditions and urging Israel to provide more aid.

Ceasefire talks between mediators and Hamas are continuing in Cairo but there are “difficulties,” Egyptian state media Al Qahera News reported, citing a senior source. The source denied that talks had broken down, as some media organizations earlier reported.

Talks have failed to make significant headway, and it’s unclear how much progress can be made at all, as Israel has not sent a delegation there.