mob swarms aid trucks
mob swarms aid trucksIDF Spokesperson

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari delivered a statement this evening (Thursday) regarding this morning's incident involving a humanitarian aid convoy in northern Gaza and the IDF's ongoing humanitarian aid efforts.

"This morning, the IDF coordinated a convoy of 38 trucks to provide additional humanitarian assistance to the residents of northern Gaza. This humanitarian aid came from Egypt, went through a security screening at the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing in Israel, and then entered Gaza for distribution by private contractors," Hagari began.

"As these vital humanitarian supplies were making their way towards Gazans in need, thousands of Gazans dispensed upon the trucks. Some began violently pushing and even trampling other Gazans to death, looting the humanitarian supplies," he explained.

According to Hagari, "the unfortunate incident resulted in dozens of Gazans killed and injured."

"Here are the facts," he said. "At 4:40 a.m., the first aid truck in the humanitarian convoy started making its way through the humanitarian corridor that we were securing. Yes, the IDF was securing the humanitarian corridor so that the aid convoy could reach its destination in northern Gaza. Our tanks were there to secure the humanitarian corridor for the aid convoy. Our UAVs were there in the air to give our forces a clear picture from above."

המוני עזתים מסתערים לעבר טנקים של צה"לדובר צה"ל

“During this humanitarian operation, at 4:45 a.m., a mob ambushed the aid trucks, bringing the convoy to a halt," he said as he presented a new video of the incident. "As you can see, in this video, the tanks that were there to secure the convoy saw the Gazans being trampled and cautiously tried to disperse the mob with a few warning shots."

He continued, "When the hundreds became thousands and things got out of hand, the tank commander decided to retreat to avoid harm to the thousands of Gazans that were there. Here you can see how cautious they were when they were backing up. I think, as a military man, they were backing up securely, risking their own lives, not shooting at the mob."

Rejecting Hamas' accusations of a massacre of over 100 civilians, he said that “The Israel Defense Forces operates according to the rules of engagement and international law. No IDF strike was conducted toward the aid convoy. I want to repeat that: No IDF strike was conducted toward the aid convoy."

“On the contrary, the IDF was there carrying out a humanitarian aid operation, to secure the humanitarian corridor, and allow the aid convoy to reach its distribution point, so that the humanitarian aid could reach Gazan civilians in the north who are in need," he said.

"We have been conducting a humanitarian operation of this kind for the last four nights without any problem, this is the first night we have had this kind of event," he said.

Hagari noted that “This humanitarian aid was coordinated by Israel, for the people of Gaza. We want the aid to reach the people of Gaza. We are working around the clock to make this happen. Israel puts no limits on the amount of aid that can go into Gaza. We are working together with humanitarian organizations and the international community to help them solve the issue of aid distribution inside Gaza, it is a problem."

"Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza," he said. “We recognize the suffering of the innocent people of Gaza. This is why we are seeking ways to expand our humanitarian efforts, this is why we are conducting humanitarian operations like the one we conducted this morning."