Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Who killed UN Aid worker in Gaza?

Uncertainty shrouds UN driver's death

Jan. 8, 2009

Who killed a Palestinian humanitarian aid truck driver and wounded two others as their convoy made its way into the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing during Thursday's 'humanitarian ceasefire'?

According to the foreign media, who based their information on UN sources, IDF tank shells blasted the truck. According to the Magen David Adom medic who said he evacuated the Palestinians to an Israeli hospital, the truck came under Hamas sniper fire. The medic, who asked not to be named, said he got his information from soldiers in the field. The IDF Spokesperson's Office has not been able to provide a response or establish contact with the relevant sources in the field.

Adding to the confusion, the Palestinian Red Crescent said it evacuated the Palestinians, but the MDA medic said soldiers told him they went in, with great risk to themselves, and evacuated the wounded Palestinians. What is certain is that there is one dead Palestinian, and two others being treated at Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital with gunshot wounds to the chest.

The incident occurred Thursday afternoon at the Erez crossing into the northern Gaza Strip, the main entrance used by humanitarian aid agencies to funnel badly needed food and medical supplies into Gaza.

As a result of the incident, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip said it was suspending operations relating to the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid.

But here too there seems to be confusion.

Richard Miron, the chief UN spokesman in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post that UNRWA was not suspending all of its operations, but just those relating to humanitarian aid.

"It's too dangerous and our staff are not safe," Miron said, adding that UNRWA would still be operating its schools and other centers in Gaza.

Miron's comments to the Post came after Adnan Abu Hasna, the agency's Gaza-based spokesman, said that UNRWA decided to suspend all its operations in the Gaza Strip because of the increasing hostile actions against its premises and personnel.

Earlier, Miron was quoted by the Timesonline website as saying that the IDF had been notified in advance about the UNRWA convoy, "which was hit as it approached the Erez crossing with Israel."
Miron later told the Post that the UN was not sure in which direction the truck was traveling in when it was struck, either into or out of the Gaza Strip. Miron added that the UN believes the incident was caused by an IDF tank shell.

He went on to say that the UN was not looking to assign blame on either side, but was rather trying to make sure humanitarian aid got to the people who needed it, and that attacks on humanitarian convoys from any source had to stop.

The incident highlights the dangers involved in sending aid convoys through the crossings into the Gaza Strip. It also shows that the IDF Spokesperson's Office is not always able to respond in good time to incidents of this nature.

For at least seven hours, the international media were quoting a version of events which claimed the Palestinian truck drivers were killed by an Israeli shell.

The IDF Spokesperson's Office began fielding calls regarding the incident from the foreign press at about 12 p.m. Thursday, and by 7 p.m. had still not been able to get a clear answer from IDF Southern Command. Peter Lerner, a defense ministry spokesperson who responds to the international press about humanitarian issues, said, six hours after the event, that he was not aware of the incident at Erez Crossing and referred queries to the IDF.

The driver and two others, Palestinian civilians contracted by the UN, suffered gunshot wounds to the chest and upper body, the MDA said.

According to a MDA medic who evacuated the Palestinians, and who said he spoke to troops at the Erez Crossing, IDF soldiers, at great risk to themselves, evacuated the wounded Palestinians to the Israeli side of the border, where medics pronounced one of the Palestinians dead on the scene.

The two others were evacuated to Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital for treatment.

The soldiers told the medic that the Palestinian civilians were shot by Hamas gunmen, the MDA medic, who asked not to be named, told the Post

On Wednesday, Israel agreed to suspend offensive operations in Gaza for three hours between 1 p.m and 4 p.m. to allow humanitarian aid convoys into Gaza and for Gazans to be able to collect supplies.

Hamas resumed firing rockets promptly at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Apart from the sniper fire, on Thursday, Hamas terrorists fired mortar shells at Israeli communities in the Gaza envelope not long after the day's humanitarian ceasefire had begun.

Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner told The Jerusalem Post that Israel would continue to allow humanitarian aid convoys into the Gaza Strip, despite the threat of shooting and hijacking of those convoys by Hamas. Lerner added that the convoys and humanitarian ceasefires were an integral part of the IDF's operations in Gaza to show that "the Palestinian people are not our enemy, Hamas is."

Lerner said that while a small amount of humanitarian aid was pilfered by Hamas, the majority of it was getting through to Palestinian civilians.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory