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IDF denies firing on aid convoy amid international criticism

(Credit: Dawud Abo Alkas/Anadolu/Getty Images)

At least 118 Palestinians were killed last week when Israeli forces opened fire on a food distribution center in Gaza City, drawing widespread condemnation.

The Israeli military said Friday that a summary of its preliminary investigation showed that its troops did not fire at the humanitarian convoy but at “several suspects” who approached nearby forces. CNN cannot independently confirm the IDF’s findings.

A witness told CNN that many of the victims died after being crushed by trucks in the panic that followed the shooting, in what became known as the “Ata Massacre.”

What does the IDF say? The IDF said thousands of Palestinians crowded around the convoy and seized materials from the trucks, during which the stampede caused “significant incidents of injury” to civilians and people were crushed under the trucks. His troops “conducted precautionary fire to drive away the suspects” because they “posed a real threat to the forces at that time.”

What do eyewitnesses say? Khader al Zanoun, a local Gaza journalist who witnessed the incident, said at the time that the chaos began when Israeli soldiers opened fire, and that in the resulting panic many victims were run over by trucks.

What do Palestinian officials say? Gaza’s health ministry said at least 118 people were killed and more than 700 were injured, making it one of Gaza’s deadliest massacres since the war began. CNN cannot independently verify the figures.

What does the United Nations say? The United Nations said most of the injured civilians had gunshot wounds, but it did not examine any bodies and therefore could not say whether the same was true of the dead.

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