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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cease-Fire Demand Grows Amid Questions Around Gaza Aid Convoy Deaths

WorldCease-Fire Demand Grows Amid Questions Around Gaza Aid Convoy Deaths

World leaders on Friday intensified their demands on Israel to get more aid into Gaza and provide more answers about the deaths of scores of Palestinians in a scene of chaos surrounding a humanitarian convoy its forces were securing.

Many questions remained unanswered as the Israeli military and Gazan officials offered divergent accounts of one of the deadliest known disasters involving civilians in the nearly five-month war. Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, called on the Israeli military to “fully explain” the killings in northern Gaza on Thursday and joined the calls for a cease-fire that would allow for the release of Israeli hostages and for more aid to enter the territory.

“People in Gaza are closer to death than to life,” she said on social media. “More humanitarian aid must come in. Immediately.”

France’s foreign minister, Stéphane Séjourné, called for an independent investigation and said the deadly chaos surrounding the convoy was the result of a humanitarian catastrophe that has left Gazans “fighting for food.”

“What is happening is indefensible and unjustifiable,” Mr. Séjourné told France Inter on Friday. “Israel must be able to hear it and it must stop.”

The disaster unfolded Thursday morning as thousands of hungry people gathered near a food convoy in Gaza City, with Israeli troops and tanks nearby. It was a scene increasingly common in Gaza, where Palestinians fighting starvation amid Israel’s war against Hamas are regularly massing around the relatively small number of aid trucks being allowed into the territory.

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