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‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 147: No Ceasefire In Sight

Above photo: Palestinians are brought to ASl-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah following Israeli attacks at Nusairat, Gaza Strip, on February 29, 2024. Ali Hamad/APA Images.

Despite International Condemnation Of Israel’s ‘Flour Massacre’.

U.S. blocks a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its massacre against Palestinians attempting to receive humanitarian aid in Gaza, saying that the incident “still needs to be investigated.”


  • 30,228+ killed* and at least 71,377 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
  • 582 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*

* This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

Key Developments

Starvation And Hunger Worsening In Gaza, As The World Condemns Israeli Attack On Aid-Seekers

Over the past twenty-four hours, the international community has widely condemned the Israeli “flour massacre,” when Israeli troops opened fire on hundreds of Palestinians waiting in line for food distribution, killing more than 100 people and injuring at least 760 others.

“Crimes and massacres against defenseless Palestinians kill people every day and foster terrorism and extremism in the region,” said the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

China is one of many countries that has also condemned the killings.

“China urges the relevant parties, especially Israel, to cease fire and end the fighting immediately, earnestly protect civilians’ safety, ensure that humanitarian aid can enter, and avoid an even more serious humanitarian disaster,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning.

Meanwhile, survivors are still reeling from the attack.

“We went to get flour. The Israeli army shot at us. There are many martyrs on the ground and until this moment we are withdrawing them,” one witness described to Al Jazeera. “There is no first aid.”

Given that it is so dangerous for ambulances to reach the scene of an emergency like this one, donkey carts were used to take people to hospitals, which are already barely functioning as it is, given the ongoing war and the siege that keeps essential supplies–such as fuel–from reaching Gaza.

While Hamas has referred to the incident as an “unprecedented war crime,” Israel has repeatedly changed their narrative, first trying to blame the crowd of Palestinians for engaging in a “stampede” that caused the violence, and then altering their narrative to say that they had shot into the crowd.

A trustee from the Ummah Welfare Trust—one of a handful of charities delivering aid into Gaza—has said that the location of the distribution was shared with the Israelis, raising suspicion that the attack was premeditated.

“Our partners on the ground, who are in the south, liaised with the Israeli ministry that organises convoys in the north, and they had a plan in place. The trucks were moving together, and the location of the distribution was disclosed, and that’s [where] people were waiting all night,” Muhammad Ahmad told Sky News.

“Unfortunately, a moment which would have given us some happiness and relief that aid had reached those in need became a bloodbath.”

Given the incident—and the rising incidents of malnutrition and starvation in northern Gaza—seventeen INGOs have called upon countries that withdrew funding from UNRWA to reinstate their donor funds, in hopes that this will alleviate the worsening humanitarian catastrophe.

“Resumption of funding is key to keep the largest humanitarian operation in Gaza uninterrupted and keep our schools and health clinics running for Palestinian refugees across the region,” said UNRWA Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini in a post on X.

Widespread Condemnation, Fear Of A Delayed Ceasefire

While France, Spain, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have all joined the international chorus in condemning the killings, the United States has blocked a statement put forward by Algeria to the UN Security Council that would have assigned blame to Israel for the killings, saying that the mass shooting “needs to be thoroughly investigated.”

Many fear that the recent incident will delay a ceasefire even more than it has already been delayed.

“I think that the Biden administration is on a timetable driven by the U.S. elections in November,” Adam Shapiro told Al Jazeera, pointing out that Biden is unlikely to do anything drastic that could impact his electoral victory.

“It is only after the outcome of the election is determined that we might see movement within the Biden administration.”

While U.S. President Joe Biden had previously expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached quickly, he has recently backtracked this claim—and Hamas representatives have said that his optimism is “not reflected in the reality on the ground” and that “the gap is still wide” between what is happening, and what needs to happen to reach a fair agreement.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has voiced that he is rejecting the international pressure to end the war before all of Israel’s goals have been achieved.

Home Demolitions, Settler Attacks Across The West Bank

Meanwhile, the Israeli Army has vowed to demolish the home of Muhammad Manasara—the Palestinian man accused of killing two Israeli settlers in the Eli settlement earlier this week.

Since the shooting, Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians have increased, with a group of settlers attacking the homes of several Palestinian residents on the outskirts of Jalud village, outside of Nablus in the West Bank. Additionally, Israeli settlers have erected six mobile homes outside of the nearby village of Al-Luban Al-Sharkiya, near Nablus. It is merely the latest in a string of 561 instances of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians that have been recorded by OCHA, since October 7.

Israeli military raids across the West Bank continue, as Israeli forces stormed the Qalandiya refugee camp outside of Ramallah, arresting two men.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, Israeli forces erected barricades in front of the Lions Gate, keeping worshippers from reaching Al Aqsa compound, raising fears that tensions will escalate during Ramadan.

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