Israeli protesters attack a truck in apparent effort to block Gaza aid

Israeli protesters attack a truck in apparent effort to block Gaza aid

Dozens of Israeli protesters attacked a truck in the occupied West Bank, beating its driver and setting it on fire in an apparent attempt to prevent aid from reaching Gaza, the Israeli military said Friday.

Soldiers tried to intervene and but were attacked by the protesters, lightly injuring two officers and a soldier, the military said. According to Israeli media, the truck was carrying ordinary commercial goods, not aid for Gaza.

Some 1.1 million Palestinians are on the brink of starvation in Gaza, according to the United Nations. Israeli restrictions on land border crossings and heavy fighting have hindered food and other supplies from reaching Palestinians.

On Friday, a newly built US floating pier on Gaza’s coast started unloading trucks of aid for the besieged enclave. However, the US and aid groups warn that the sea corridor is not a substitute for land deliveries that could bring in all the food, water and fuel needed in Gaza.

At the UN’s top court, Israel strongly denied charges it’s committing genocide against the Palestinians, arguing Friday that it’s doing everything it can to protect the civilian population during its military operation in Gaza. South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice to order a cease-fire.

Israeli forces are pushing into Rafah, a city along Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, saying it’s the last stronghold of Hamas. Fighting is also intensifying in northern Gaza, where Hamas has regrouped in areas Israel captured earlier in the conflict.

Seven months of Israel’s war in Gaza have killed more than 35,000 people, most of them women and children, according to local health officials. Most of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes by the fighting.

The war began October 7 when Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people there, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 hostage. Israel says militants still hold around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.


— US military says first aid shipment has been driven across a newly built pier into the Gaza Strip.

— Israel will respond to genocide charges at the UN cour t after South Africa urgently requests cease-fire.

— Hezbollah introduces new weapons and tactics against Israel as war in Gaza drags on.

— A Palestinian converted to Judaism. An Israeli soldier saw him as a threat and opened fire.

— For the children of Gaza, war means no school — and no indication when formal learning might return.

— FIFA to seek legal advice on a Palestinian proposal to suspend Israel from international soccer.

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Gaza at

Here’s the latest:


CAIRO — The World Food Program says the opening of new land routes allowed it to double its aid operations in northern Gaza, where it says a famine is underway.

But Abeer Etefa, a spokesperson for the UN agency, said on Friday that Israel’s incursion into the southern city of Rafah was a “significant setback” that raises fears of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Israel opened a second crossing into the north and took other steps to facilitate aid under heavy pressure from the United States after an Israeli strike killed seven workers with the World Central Kitchen charity last month.

Etefa said the situation in the north has improved, with four bakeries now operating to provide essential bread, but that prices remain high in local markets.

“To roll back six months of near starvation conditions and avert a famine requires steady flows of food supplies, every day, every week, through multiple entry points,” she said.

Meanwhile, in the south, Israel’s seizure of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing with Egypt last month forced its closure. Fighting near the Kerem Shalom crossing — Gaza’s main cargo terminal – has made it mostly inaccessible.

Aid delivery began on Friday through an expensive US-built floating pier, but humanitarian groups say it’s no substitute for land routes.

“We have seen the impact of prolonged closures in northern Gaza,” Etefa said. “Despite recent improvements in access to help mitigate a famine there, we are now also deeply concerned about the fate of hundreds of thousands in the south, if a full-scale operation and closures continue.”


BERLIN – Germany’s foreign minister says that she and several Western colleagues have made clear in a letter to Israel that “the protection of civilians is essential” in Gaza.

The letter was signed by the foreign ministers of Australia, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea and Sweden. The group includes all the Group of Seven countries except the United States.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Strasbourg, France, on Friday that the signatories are united in “incredibly great concern about the fate of around 2 million people in Gaza.” She said the US already made the point bilaterally to Israel “in the same tone and above all with the same substance.”

Germany, one of Israel’s staunchest allies, and others have opposed a large-scale Israeli offensive in Rafah, where much of Gaza’s population has been concentrated following fighting elsewhere.

The German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that the letter was dated Wednesday and addressed to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.


BEIRUT — Three separate drone strikes on a coastal village in southern Lebanon on Friday killed three people, including two Syrian citizens, security officials said. The Lebanese militant Hezbollah group later said one of its members was killed in the attack.

The strikes on the village of Najariyeh, about 40 kilometers (28 miles) north of the Israeli border, came a day after an especially intense exchange of cross-border strikes between Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces.

The strikes hit a vehicle, a field and a small brick factory where two Syrian workers were killed, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Hezbollah said its member Hussein Mahdi was killed. The Lebanese security officials said Mahdi was the owner of the brick factory.

Later Friday, the Israeli military said its air force struck infrastructure where Hezbollah fighters operated in Najariyeh. It added that the target included several compounds used by the group that “posed a threat to Israeli aircraft.”

The Lebanon-Israel border has been witnessing almost daily exchanges of fire between Israel troops and Hezbollah fighters since a day after the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7.

More than 350 people have been killed in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including more than 70 civilians and non-combatants. In Israel, 15 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed since October 7.


Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.


Dozens of Israeli protesters attacked a truck in the occupied West Bank, beating its driver and setting it on fire in an apparent attempt to prevent aid from reaching Gaza.

The Israeli military says soldiers arrived at the scene late Thursday and tried to separate the attackers from the driver and provide medical treatment. It says the protesters then attacked the soldiers, lightly wounding two officers and a soldier.

It did not say whether there were any arrests.

Israeli media reported a similar event on Wednesday, saying protesters had halted a truck, emptied its contents into the road and beaten the Palestinian driver.

In both cases, the vehicles targeted were ordinary commercial trucks, not aid trucks bound for Gaza, according to the media reports.

Israeli police, who are primarily responsible for law and order in Israel’s West Bank settlements, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week, dozens of protesters halted an aid convoy bound for Gaza. They pulled crates of food and other aid off the trucks and destroyed them.

The protesters are opposed to sending aid into Gaza, saying it strengthens Hamas and reduces the pressure on the militants to release scores of hostages abducted in the October 7 attack that ignited the war.

UN officials say severe hunger is widespread in Gaza and that northern Gaza is experiencing famine. 

  • PublishedMay 17, 2024

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