Al-Rashid Street Massacre: Death toll rises to over 100

Al-Rashid Street Massacre: Death toll rises to over 100
The Palestinian death toll from Israel's war in Gaza has exceeded 30,000 as Israeli forces commit a massacre of Palestinians queuing for food in Gaza City.
16 min read
29 February, 2024

Gaza's health ministry said Thursday more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its relentless war on the Palestinian territory.

While mediators say a truce deal between Israel and Hamas could be just days away, aid agencies have sounded the alarm of a looming famine in Gaza's north.

 Meanwhile, over 100  Palestinians were killed and 250 wounded in an Israeli massacre on people waiting for food aid in Gaza City this morning.

Those killed and wounded were shot at by Israeli forces while waiting for food aid.

The Israeli military shot at a crowd of people waiting for deliveries of food aid early this morning near al-Rashid Street, south of Gaza City.

The dead and wounded have been taken to al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza


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5:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog is now wrapping up. Thanks to all for following along. The New Arab will be back tomorrow at 9am with live coverage of events in Gaza. 

17-year-old Palestinian killed by Israel 'shot in the back'
5:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Defense for Children International's Palestine section reported that Israeli troops killed a 17-year-old near Nablus in the occupied West Bank earlier today, highlighting that he was shot from behind.

The organisation detailed, “Bashar Nihad Abdulatif Hanani, 17, was shot in the back by Israeli forces around 1am this morning during a military operation in the Palestinian town of Beit Furik, located to the east of Nablus in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.”

According to the report:

“Bashar was perched on a wall adjacent to the Friendship Medical Center, reportedly hurling stones at Israeli soldiers positioned roughly 25 to 35 meters [82 to 115 feet] away. Israeli troops responded by shooting live rounds at Bashar, resulting in him tumbling off the wall, which stood about 1.5 meters [5 feet] high. Palestinian medical personnel swiftly transported Bashar to the medical facility, before moving him by ambulance to the Rafida Governmental Hospital in Nablus, where he was declared deceased at approximately 1:30am.”

Arab Parliament denounces Israel for Al-Aqsa watchtower
5:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Arab Parliament, based in Cairo, has strongly criticised the erection of a watchtower by Israeli authorities on the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the mounting of surveillance cameras there.

It accused Israel of igniting global Muslim outrage and escalating the ongoing conflict with the Palestinian people through such actions, stating it “exceeded all limits of provoking Muslims around the world and expanding the circle of ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people.”

The body declared the “occupation’s actions as void, illegitimate, illegal, and a clear breach of international norms and resolutions set by the UN and UNESCO, amidst the genocidal conflict and ethnic cleansing” in Gaza.

The organisation voiced concerns that these Israeli actions intend to alter the historical, political, demographic, and legal aspects of the occupied city of Jerusalem, aiming to obliterate the Palestinian Arab heritage.

The Arab Parliament urged for immediate global action to halt the Israeli breaches at the third most sacred site in Islam and demanded steps to end the “ethnic cleansing faced by the Palestinian people.”

According to reports from the Palestinian WAFA news agency on Sunday, Israeli forces affixed surveillance cameras on the newly constructed watchtower at the mosque's western wall.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry vehemently opposed this development, criticising the regular intrusions by Israeli forces into the mosque's premises and their efforts to “change the historical, political, demographic, and legal reality of Jerusalem.

US Jewish group say Gaza massacre 'beyond reprehensible'
4:55 PM
The New Arab Staff

The youth-led Jewish organisation IfNotNow has decried the killings of more than 100 Palestinians when Israeli forces opened fire on aid seekers in northern Gaza.

“It is beyond reprehensible that the Israeli military gunned down over 100 starving Palestinians as they waited for much-needed aid. There can be no justification for this atrocity,” IfNotNow spokesperson Eva Borgwardt said in a statement.

“It’s past time for President Biden to halt weapons transfers to an Israeli military that is slaughtering Palestinians".

Two Israelis shot dead in West Bank attack
4:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two Israeli men were shot dead on Thursday in an attack in the occupied West Bank, a first responder said, the latest flash of unrest in the area as war rages in Gaza.

"We performed medical tests, but... in a short time we had to determine their death," the emergency response service Magen David Adom said of the shooting at a petrol station near the Ely settlement in the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli army said the "terrorist was neutralised".

Peace Now: Israel expanding of ‘state land' into West Bank
4:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

Peace Now, an Israeli group opposing the occupation, reported that the Israeli government has earmarked a vast portion of territory in the occupied West Bank as “state land,” a move usually signaling the onset of Israeli settlement growth and putting three Palestinian communities at risk.

In a statement on social media, Peace Now announced, “The Government Declares 2,640 Dunams in Abu Dis and el-Azariya as State Land, Located in the Southern area of the E1 Plan, Threatening 3 Palestinian Communities.”

The organisation criticised the Israeli government's actions as a continuation of the occupation and dispossession of Palestinians in the West Bank (WB). “These lands are located in the southern area of the E1 plan, designated for the construction of at least 1,500 housing units. The significance of this declaration is that these lands will be now under Israeli control, with Palestinians having no rights to them.”

Peace Now also highlighted the disproportionate allocation of state land in the occupied West Bank, stating that 99.76 percent of it has been granted to Israeli settlements, leaving a mere .24 percent for Palestinian use.

Biden says checking 'competing versions' of Gaza massacre
3:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Joe Biden said Thursday the United States was checking "competing versions" of the massacre perpetrated by Israel at a Gaza aid point, adding that it would likely complicate ceasefire negotiations.

"We're checking that right now. There are two competing versions of what happened, I don't have an answer yet," Biden told reporters when asked about the incident, in which the health ministry, multiple eyewitnesses, humanitarian workers and hospital staff said Israeli troops shot dead 104 people.

Asked if he was worried whether it would complicate negotiations for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Biden replied: "I know it will."

Belgian Deputy PM 'horrified' by Israeli massacre in Gaza
3:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter says she is “horrified” by the news of Palestinians in Gaza having been shot at while waiting to receive food aid.

“Murdering people queueing for essential humanitarian aid?”, she wrote on X. “This is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and fully goes against the [International Criminal Court]’s provisional measures.”

Biden says Gaza ceasefire 'probably not by Monday'
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden said a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was now unlikely to happen by Monday, the timeline that he had predicted earlier this week.

Asked by reporters Thursday whether he expected that to happen, Biden said that "hope springs eternal" and that he had been speaking to regional leaders about a ceasefire, but added "probably not by Monday."

UN aid chief condemns al-Rashid Street massacre
3:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

"Life is draining out of Gaza at terrifying speed," the UN humanitarian chief said following multiple deaths Thursday during an attempt to distribute aid supplies in the Palestinian territory.

"Even after close to five months of brutal hostilities, Gaza still has the ability to shock us," UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said on X, formerly Twitter.

Israeli forces in war-torn Gaza opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians at an aid distribution point Thursday, killing at least 104 people and wounding over 700, say Palestinian health officials.

Israeli sources confirmed that troops shot at the crowd, believing they "posed a threat", in a pre-dawn incident in Gaza City in the north of the besieged territory.

"I'm appalled at the reported killing and injury of hundreds of people during a transfer of aid supplies west of Gaza City," Griffiths wrote.

"Life is draining out of Gaza at terrifying speed."

At least 13,230 children have been killed in Gaza
3:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza’s government media office says 13,230 children have been killed in the  enclave since 7 October, including seven who died of starvation.

The death toll also includes 8,860 women, 340 medical staff, 132 journalists, and 47 civil defence staff.

While 30,139 bodies have been registered at hospitals, the official death toll does not include the about 7,000 reported missing, the office said in its latest update.

Ben-Gvir says delivery of aid must stop, endangers soldiers
2:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir claims that sending humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza poses a risk to Israeli soldiers and should be halted, following the massacre of over 100 Palestinians by Israeli forces attempting to receive aid in Gaza City.

Ben-Gvir stated, “Today it was proven that the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza is not only madness while our hostages are held in the Strip … but also endangers IDF soldiers,” labeling the aid deliveries as “oxygen to Hamas.”

He further commented on the incident as “another clear reason why we must stop transferring this aid” in a post on X.

Ben-Gvir emphasised the need for Israel to “provide complete support to our heroic fighters operating in Gaza, who acted excellently against a Gazan mob that tried to harm them.”

In response, Palestinian officials have condemned the lethal attack on desperate civilians in the beleaguered and bombarded region as a “cold-blooded massacre".

Egypt, Jordan condemn Israel's Al-Rashid massacre in Gaza
2:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

“We condemn the inhumane Israeli targeting of … unarmed Palestinian civilians in the Nabulsi roundabout in the northern Gaza,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We consider targeting peaceful citizens rushing to pick up their share of aid a shameful crime and a flagrant violation of international law,” the statement added, calling on international parties to end Israel's war on Gaza.

Jordan also responded to the massacre. 

“We condemn the Israeli occupation forces’ brutal targeting of the gathering of Palestinians who were waiting for aid on the Nabulsi roundabout near Al-Rashid Street in Gaza,” Jordan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

UK pro-Palestine group decries PM Sunak's Gaza stance
1:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK activist organisation Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has condemned UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's position on pro-Palestinian marches- as he claimed "mob rule" is breaking out in Britain following continued protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. 

"The horrific massacre this morning of dozens of Palestinians in Northern Gaza, who were killed by Israel whilst queuing for aid, is an urgent reminder of the scenes of horror that have brought so many to the streets in peaceful protest over the past few months," PSC Director Ben Jamal said.

"Rishi Sunak's latest attempt to demonise those protesting, whilst he continues to offer Israel full support for what the ICJ has accepted as a plausible case of genocide, makes clear the political project on which he is embarked. He wishes to insulate politicians from public opinion and democratic accountability by suppressing peaceful protest.

"His comments are an attack on democracy not a defence of it."

PA president condemns attack on Palestinians in Gaza City
1:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the recent attack on Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City- after Israeli forces opened fire on people.

“The killing of this large number of innocent civilian victims who risked their livelihood is an integral part of the genocidal war committed by the occupation government against our people,” a statement by the presidential office cited by news agency Wafa said.

“Israeli occupation authorities bear full responsibility and will be held accountable before international courts.”

Israel says still reviewing access to Al Aqsa over Ramadan
1:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel is reviewing possible curbs on access to Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem over the upcoming Ramadan fast month, a government spokesperson said on Thursday following media reports that the far-right minister for police might be overruled on the issue.

"The specific issue of prayer on the Temple Mount, in Al Aqsa, is currently still under discussion by the cabinet," the spokesperson, Avi Hyman, told reporters. He added that a final decision would take security and public health into account.

The statement comes after the Israeli defence minister called for more restrictions on Palestinian Muslim worshippers from visiting the mosque during the Islamic holy month, such as allowing men over the age of 60 to attend.

Israeli sources say troops fired at Gaza crowd
1:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli sources confirmed Thursday that Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinians rushing toward aid trucks in Gaza, with one saying soldiers thought they "posed a threat".

The health ministry in Gaza said 104 people were killed and more than 750 wounded.

"The crowd approached the forces in a manner that posed a threat to the troops, who responded to the threat with live fire," one Israeli source told news agency AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the incident.

Death toll from attack on Gaza aid-seekers rises past 100
12:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least 104 Palestinians have been confirmed dead and 760 injured from the early morning attack, Gaza’s Health Ministry has announced.

After initially denying any responsibility, Israel said its troops opened fire on a group of Palestinian aid-seekers in Gaza City who “dangerously” approached them, according to an Israeli military official quoted by Israeli media.

The Israeli military has said it will investigate the incident.

Israeli soldiers question goals of Gaza war
11:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

A report from The Wall Street Journal includes a statement from an Israeli soldier in Khan Younis, expressing uncertainty about the objective of their mission due to the lack of a definitive strategy.

“Many soldiers wonder what the goal of their efforts is in the absence of a clear plan," the report quotes the soldier as saying.

The publication further shared comments from Israeli soldiers regarding the challenges faced in combating Hamas, stating, “It will be very difficult to destroy Hamas, and the army has not found a systematic solution to find and destroy the movement’s tunnels.”

Additionally, the commander of the Israeli 98th Division in Khan Younis was reported to describe extracting Hamas fighters from the tunnels as “the biggest challenge”. He also highlighted a prevalent concern within the Israeli military that achieving “accumulation of tactical victories” might not translate into a sustainable triumph in Gaza.

Israel Rafah attack would be new nightmare: UN rights chief
11:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's planned ground assault on Rafah in the Gaza Strip would contravene the orders issued by the United Nations' highest court, the UN human rights chief said on Thursday.

"I fail to see how such an operation could be consistent with the binding provisional measures issued by the International Court of Justice," Volker Turk told the UN Human Rights Council.

On January 26, the ICJ in The Hague -- while it refrained from ordering an immediate halt to the war in Gaza -- said Israel must do everything to "prevent the commission of all acts within the scope" of the Genocide Convention.

The UN's top court said Israel must facilitate "urgently needed" humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territory, which has been under relentless bombardment and siege since an attack in Israel by Hamas militants on October 7.

"The prospect of an Israeli ground assault on Rafah would take the nightmare being inflicted on people in Gaza into a new dimension," said Turk.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday the Israeli army would launch a ground invasion of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip -- where an estimated 1.4 million Palestinian civilians have sought refuge from the war.

Israel's retaliatory bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza have killed more than 30,000 people in under five months, most of them women and children, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry.

Aid agencies warn of a looming famine in the north of the densely populated, besieged territory.

Foreign Ministry: food aid civilians killed ‘in cold blood'
10:03 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has sharply criticised what it describes as a brutal and "cold-blooded massacre" of civilians following this morning's assault on individuals in Gaza seeking humanitarian aid, resulting in a rising death toll.

Israeli forces launched an attack on Palestinians gathered for food distribution near Gaza City, resulting in at least 70 fatalities and 250 injuries.

In a media release, the ministry characterised the assault as a component of Israel's continuous "genocidal war". It urgently appealed to the global community for intervention to establish a ceasefire, emphasising it as the essential measure for civilian protection.

Biden worried Israel will launch ground war on Hezbollah
9:45 AM
The New Arab Staff

CNN, citing senior US government officials, reports that the Biden administration and intelligence authorities are worried Israel might be considering a ground assault against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

A US government official, who was briefed on the matter, expressed concerns that Israel might initiate such an operation towards the end of spring.

"The assumption we're working with is that an Israeli military operation could occur in the upcoming months," the official stated. "It's not immediately on the horizon in the next few weeks, but later this spring seems like a real possibility for an Israeli military action."

Since Israel commenced its ground offensive in Gaza in October, there have been lethal exchanges of cross-border attacks between the Israeli military and Hezbollah.

70 dead in Israeli 'massacre' of Gazans waiting for food aid
8:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's government media office says more than 70 Palestinians were killed and 250 wounded in an Israeli attack on people waiting for food aid in Gaza City this morning.

Those killed and wounded were shot at by Israeli forces while waiting for food aid.

The Israeli military shot at a crowd of people waiting for deliveries of food aid early this morning near al-Rashid Street, south of Gaza City.

The dead and wounded have been taken to al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza

Israeli army carries out arrests across occupied West Bank
8:16 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli troops stormed Hebron, detaining three individuals, one of whom is underage, according to Wafa news agency. Additionally, six Palestinians were taken into custody in Halhul.

In the village of Beit Tamar, located to the east of Bethlehem, another arrest occurred.

Furthermore, in the Jalazone camp north of Ramallah, a man was wounded in the foot by Israeli gunfire before being apprehended.

Israel strikes Damascus area: Syrian ministry
8:11 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel carried out strikes Wednesday near Damascus, Syria's defence ministry said, the latest reported attack amid soaring regional tensions since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

"The Israeli enemy launched air strikes from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting a number of sites in the Damascus countryside," the ministry said in a statement.

"Our air defences responded to the aggression's missiles and shot down most of them," it added.

An AFP correspondent in the Syrian capital heard explosions followed by the sirens of ambulances.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the Israeli strikes killed two Syrian pro-Hezbollah fighters and had targeted "sites where Iran-backed groups including Lebanon's Hezbollah are based" in two locations near Damascus.

When asked about the strikes, the Israeli army told AFP: "We do not comment on reports in the foreign media."

New Zealand lists Hamas as terrorists, sanctions settlers
8:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

New Zealand on Thursday listed Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist entity and imposed travel bans on "extremist" Israeli settlers whom it said had committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said in a statement that the attacks by the Hamas on Israel in October "were brutal and we have unequivocally condemned them."

But he added that "New Zealand wants to be clear that the designation of Hamas is about the actions of an offshore terrorist entity and is not a reflection on the Palestinian people in Gaza and around the world."

New Zealand's decision makes it a criminal offence to carry out property or financial transactions with Hamas or provide material support. It also freezes any Hamas assets in New Zealand.

It does not prevent New Zealand from providing humanitarian and future development assistance for civilians in Gaza or from giving consular support to New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in the conflict zone.

Luxon also said he was "seriously concerned by the significant increase in extremist violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers" against Palestinians in recent months.

"This is particularly destabilising in what is already a major crisis," Luxon said.

New Zealand's consistent position has been that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are a violation of international law.

The government said it would continue to support a future Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution, urging an end to the current conflict and an urgent restart of the Middle East peace process.

Canada working to airdrop aid to the Gaza Strip
7:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Canada is working to airdrop humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible, a cabinet minister said Wednesday.

The confirmation that an active effort is underway comes after Canadian International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said Ottawa was exploring new options to deliver aid.

He said the provision of airdrops in partnership with like-minded countries in the region, such as Jordan, was on the table.

Hussen said last week that the provision of aid is nowhere near what’s needed and a tedious inspection process was slowing down the movement of supplies brought in by truck.

He made the comments following a trip to the Rafah border crossing, the only way in or out of the Gaza Strip since Israel began its war on Gaza.

Canada has put $100 million Canadian ($74 million) toward aid for the besieged territory since the start of Israel's assault, including $40 million Canadian ($30 million) committed in January.