Palestinians killed by Israeli military while waiting for aid in Gaza - Gazan authorities

At least 19 people have been killed and 23 injured from Israeli fire on Gaza residents who were waiting for humanitarian aid at the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City on Saturday, according to the Government Media Office in Gaza.

“The occupation army and tanks opened fire with machine guns at the hungry people who were waiting for bags of flour and aid in a remote place that did not pose a threat to the occupation,” the Government Media Office in Gaza said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said reports claiming it attacked dozens of Gazans at an aid convoy are incorrect and that a review of the incident is underway.

The Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City has become known as an area where aid trucks distribute food, attracting crowds of people desperate for supplies.

The dead and wounded people were taken to Al-Ahli Baptist hospital, east of Gaza City, according to both Gazan authorities and local journalist Khader Al-Za’anoun, who is working for CNN on the ground.

A spokesman for the Gaza Civil Defense Directorate, Captain Mahmoud Basal, claimed the casualties were “a result of the occupation Israeli forces targeting the residents who went to look for food to help their family and children.”

Meanwhile, the IDF said in a statement: “This morning at 11am [local time], the IDF facilitated an aid convoy to deliver food to people in Northern Gaza. Upon its approach to the designated distribution point, the convoy was intercepted and looted by hundreds of Gazans, north of the humanitarian corridor.”

“Preliminary findings have determined that there was no aerial strike against the convoy, nor were there incidents found of IDF forces firing at the people at the aid convoy,” the IDF claimed.

In CNN video filmed at the hospital in the aftermath of the incident, several relatives of victims say their loved ones were waiting to get flour and food when Israeli forces fired on them. 

One man in the video, Ahmad Al-Ghoul, said his cousin was killed in the attack, adding, “Where is the international protection? He went to get food to feed his children, brothers and sisters and mother, he has 15 people to take care of.”

Social media video from the scene also shows multiple wounded people, as well as one person who appears dead, being carried away from the area on makeshift stretchers.

Several deadly attacks by Israeli soldiers on crowds of civilians lining up for aid have been reported in recent weeks. The Gaza-based Government Media Office said earlier this month that at least 400 people have been killed in several similar incidents since the beginning of the war.

CNN cannot independently confirm the Gaza government’s numbers due to the lack of international media access to the strip.

Last week, the Palestinian Internal Security Forces in Gaza City said that gatherings at the Kuwait roundabout would be prohibited to safeguard lives in light of the “frequent massacres” there carried out by Israeli forces. It is unclear why aid was being distributed in the area of the Kuwait roundabout on Saturday.