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IDF refuses to supervise aid going into Gaza in dispute with Israeli government 

March 5, 2024 at 9:29 am

Limited number of United Nations trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians cross Kerem Shalom border crossing in southeastern Gaza, January 29, 2024 [Ahmed Zaqout – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation army refuses to supervise the delivery of aid to Gaza, in the belief that similar incidents to that which occurred last Thursday will be repeated, Haaretz has reported. The IDF has called on the political leadership to decide on this issue.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, at least 116 people were killed in the incident on Thursday while trying to reach aid trucks. Security for the convoy was provided by Israeli troops.

The army has warned Israel’s political leadership in recent weeks that a decision must be made on how to deliver aid across Gaza, otherwise, “The legitimacy of continued fighting will weaken in the eyes of the US and the international community in general.”

This issue has been raised several times with the government as well as the US, Egypt and Jordan, which are working to increase aid to the Strip, with a focus on the north of the territory.

The US began airdropping humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip on Saturday. US officials said that they dropped more than 38,000 ready-made meals, and they will work to drop more in the coming days.

The army opposes the position of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who in the past suggested that Israeli troops should be responsible for delivering aid to Gaza. According to the IDF, the entry of troops with aid trucks puts them in direct contact with hundreds of thousands of residents of the Gaza Strip, endangering the lives of the soldiers.

Some Israeli government ministers also reject any Hamas involvement in delivering and distributing aid to Gaza, because, they believe, it will allow the movement to control the population.

The security establishment in Israel has proposed several other options to provide more aid to the Strip, including giving responsibility to Palestinian businessmen who will be able to send trucks throughout the enclave. The other possibility is to transport aid by sea, where shipments will be unloaded in the small port of Gaza and sent from there to other areas.

While the Israeli army view the aid issue as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Hamas regarding a prisoner exchange deal, now that political leaders have leaked details of the debate and ministers’ positions, senior military officers say that they will no longer be able to use it.

The Israeli army did not initially consider the negative repercussions at the international level that last Thursday’s aid incident would cause. From the perspective of the international community, the most important question is how many Palestinians were killed due to unnecessary shooting.

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