Extremists attacking Gaza aid convoys 'tipped off' by Israel army, police

Extremists attacking Gaza aid convoys 'tipped off' by Israel army, police
One of the main groups behind the Gaza aid convoy attacks has admitted that they are tipped off by Israeli police on truck locations.
3 min read
23 May, 2024
Israeli right-wing activists aim to stop aid reaching those suffering in Gaza [Getty/file photo]

Israeli security forces have been reportedly tipping off Israeli far-right activists regarding the locations of humanitarian aid convoys, enabling them to attack trucks headed to Gaza.

The Israeli military and police have been providing far-right activists and settlers with information on their movements, an activist from one of the main groups actively blocking aid convoys told the UK’s Guardian newspaper on Tuesday.

Internal chat group messages reviewed by The Guardian support the claims of collusion between the activists and security forces.

Witnesses testimonies and accounts from human rights groups also back the claims, the UK newspaper added.

For months, Israeli far-rights groups, notably Tzav 9, have been attacking aid convoys delivering aid to desperate Palestinians in Gaza.

Last week, images and videos shared online showed the group assaulting truck drivers, destroying food packages and throwing products onto the ground. Two trucks were set ablaze at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

The attack drew condemnation from Israel's biggest ally, the United States, who described the incident as "completely and utterly unacceptable behaviour".

A spokesperson for the extremist group, Rachel Touitou, told The Guardian said that people providing the information on the whereabouts of the humanitarian convoys can't be blamed, conflating the Palestinians who the aid is meant to help with Hamas.

"When a policeman or soldier’s mission is supposed to protect Israelis and instead he is sent to protect humanitarian aid convoys – knowing it will end up in the hands of Hamas – we cannot blame them or civilians who notice the trucks passing by their towns for providing intel to groups trying to block that aid," she said.

"Yes, some of our intel comes from individual members of Israeli forces," she admitted.

In order to carry out such attacks, far-right group members coordinate with each other on the time and location of the aid convoys, using information provided to them by the Israeli army and police.

Multiple attacks on aid convoys have now been reported since 7 October, when Israel began its brutal  onslaught on Gaza, killing at least 35,709 people as of Wednesday, most of them women and children.

Live Story

Palestinian truck drivers have also stated that Israeli police collaborate with the extremist groups in a bid to harm the aid delivery process.

Drivers have previously said such attacks occur under police protection, adding that police even escort the extremists at times.

Driver Yazid al-Zoubi told The Guardian: "There is full cooperation between the settlers and the army. We are shocked and surprised that the army did not provide us with any kind of protection."

The blocking of aid and presence of extremist groups at the scene has caused tensions to spark between Israeli groups in recent months. 

The Tzav 9 group claims that other right-wing extremists "hijack" their missions with violence, though the group has a track record of violent attacks against aid convoys, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency said.

Tensions have also flared between the group and the left-wing Israeli Standing Together groups, who seek to ensure the delivery of aid to Gaza. 

Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip for decades and imposed a "complete siege" after October 7. It later allowed the entry of very limited quantities of aid, but Gaza is on the verge of starvation, with people already dying of malnutrition. 

Multiple UN agencies have said that the deliveries are "not enough".