White House Decries Deaths in Gaza Aid Stampede as Israeli Civilians Shot Dead in Samaria

JERUSALEM, Israel – More than 100 Palestinians are reported dead following an early morning stampede Thursday surrounding humanitarian aid trucks in north Gaza. Meanwhile, Israelis mourned the death of two people from a terrorist attack at a gas station in a Jewish community north of Jerusalem.

The White House labeled the deadly Gaza stampede caught on camera by Israeli military drones “tremendously alarming,” and called for an investigation.

It appears most who died were crushed by a crowd rushing the trucks or were run down as those trucks began to flee the mob scene.  

Several Gazans were apparently shot as a large crowd charged toward Israeli soldiers nearby.

A U.S. aid official immediately criticized Israel.  

Samantha Power, of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said, “Desperate civilians trying to feed their starving families should not be shot at.”

However, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari asserted, “Thousands of Gazans dispensed upon the trucks. Some began violently pushing and even trampling other Gazans to death, looting the humanitarian supplies.”

Hagari claims that in the midst of much chaos, shots fired by IDF soldiers were meant only to disperse an angry mob and were never aimed at stopping the aid reaching Gazans.

“No IDF strike was conducted towards the aid convoy,” he stated.

The American Jewish Committee Global Voice reported that of the hundreds killed, fewer than ten died from Israeli bullets.

Reports persist that Hamas is continuing to hijack the aid.

Meanwhile, hungry and desperate Gazans are camping out along aid routes, as one man said, “I can’t wait (around) till my child dies from famine.”

In Beirut, Lebanon, an angry crowd demanded more aid be allowed to reach Gazans, blaming Egypt for holding up more than 2,000 aid trucks near the Rafah crossing.

One protester said, “We will not allow Gaza to starve. We will not allow further genocide to occur.”

In the latest terror attack in Israel, a rabbi and a teenage hitchhiker were shot dead in the Samarian (West Bank) community of Eli by a Palestinian policeman. 

At the site, Israel Ganz of the Binyamin Regional Council said, “He shot two of our residents as they were here at the gas station. One of our residents came from a hummus shop right here and killed the terrorist.”

The death toll continues to rise among terrorists in Gaza, with the Israeli army reporting it has now killed 13,000 Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives in the nearly five-month war.

It appears that talks to free more than 100 Hamas-held hostages have stalled. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Friday that Israel will free the captives one way or another. 

“Thanks to the combination of military pressure and tough negotiations, we have succeeded in returning alive 112 of our hostages. We are determined to return them all. With or without an outline, we will fight until total victory,” he declared.

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