Settlers Vandalize Aid Shipment Headed to Gaza, Set 2 Trucks Alight

Settlers blocked an aid convoy heading to the Gaza Strip on Monday, May 13, spilling food from the trucks onto the road as they sought to prevent the goods from reaching their destination and two trucks from the convoy were later set on fire at the occupied West Bank.

Trucks have been transferring aid originating in Jordan through the West Bank en route to Gaza. Several dozen of settlers and far-right activists throwed dozens of sacks of sugar out of the trucks. Several trucks in the convoy had been vandalized in this way. Two Israeli peace activists try to protect food shipments en route to Gaza, but were attacked by the settlers.

According B’Tselem, “This happened for hours, in the presence of Israeli forces who didn’t intervene. This flies in the face of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, that issued provisional measures to force Israel to enable humanitarian assistance. Police do not appear to have intervened to stop the looting.”

This is not the first time that settlers have tried to stop the flow of aid to Gaza, which is already only a fraction of that needed by the population of the embattled territory. Last week, far-right Israeli demonstrators blocked a road near the desert town of Mitzpe Ramon to protest against the delivery of aid trucks into the Strip.

Settlers lotting aid for Gaza at the occupied West Bank (Photo: Sapir Sluzker Amran)

According Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman, “Under the protection and encouragement of the Israeli police, army, and the fascist government, a group of extremists are right now attacking a humanitarian aid convoy on its way to Gaza, emptying bags of flour onto the ground. These actions, which have been taking place for months, represent the lowest and basest instincts of humanity – pure vengeance and hatred! The fact that Israel allows this indicates that it is in clear violation of its promises to the ICJ to ease the entry of aid. Intentional starvation of a population is a war crime”.

“Bloodthirsty fascists are stopping aid trucks directed towards the starving people of Gaza, destroying and throwing away the necessary food and products for the dying children there, and calling on the masses to come and steal them. All this happens before the sympathetic eyes of the police and with their support. The Kahanist minister’s militia has also ignored the violence and threats against peace activists. On the other hand, the hostages’ families and antiwar protesters are beaten, run over by horses, take water cannon hits, and get arrested, by the same militia that coddles the settler bandits. This is what fascism looks like, this is what the psychopath’s government looks like,” MK Ofer Cassif said.

On Monday, the United Nations says one of its staff members was killed and another injured as they travelled to a hospital in southern Gaza. It said the workers were travelling in a UN vehicle to the European Hospital near Rafah when it was struck. The Israeli occupation army said an initial inquiry indicated the vehicle was struck in an active combat zone and it had not been made aware of its route. Footage posted on social media and verified by the BBC shows a marked UN vehicle with multiple bullet holes outside the European Hospital.

UN secretary-general António Guterres said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the worker’s death and sent his condolences to their family, his spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement. “The secretary-general condemns all attacks on UN personnel and calls for a full investigation,” Haq added.

Haq said the dead and injured staff members were international workers, not Palestinians, and added he believed the death to be the first of an international UN worker in Gaza since the start of the conflict. In a separate statement, Guterres said more than 190 UN staff had been killed in Gaza since the war began. While the worker killed on Monday is thought to be the first international casualty for the UN, six international aid workers and a Palestinian colleague from the international food charity World Central Kitchen were killed by occupation forces at the start of April.

The forces have carried out at least eight strikes on aid workers’ convoys and premises in Gaza since October 2023, even though aid groups had provided their coordinates to the Israeli authorities to ensure their protection, Human Rights Watch said in a report published today.

Israeli authorities did not issue advance warnings to any of the aid organizations before the strikes, which killed or injured at least 31 aid workers and those with them. More tan 250 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the October 7, according to the UN.

Israeli bombardment from the air, land, and sea continues to be reported across much of the Gaza Strip, resulting in further civilian casualties, displacement, and destruction of houses and other civilian infrastructure. Ground incursions and heavy fighting also continue to be reported in Jabaliya Refugee Camp, Gaza city, and eastern Rafah. As of 13 May, Rafah Crossing remains closed and there is a continued lack of safe and logistically viable access to Kerem Shalom crossing.

Between the afternoons of 9 and 13 May, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 187 Palestinians were killed and 323 were injured. Between 7 October 2023 and 12 May 2024, at least 35,091 Palestinians were killed and 78,827 were injured in Gaza, according to MoH in Gaza. Moreover, according to the Gaza Government Media Office and Palestinian Civil Defense, there are some 10,000 people reportedly missing or under rubble in Gaza. GMO also reports that overall fatality figures purportedly include more than 14,000 children and 9,000 women. The MoH documents the full identification details of casualties and has recently published the breakdown of 24,686 out of 34,622 fatalities for whom full details have been collected by MoH as of 30 April 2024; according to MoH, these reportedly include 7,797 children, 4,959 women, 1,924 elderly, and 10,006 men. The documentation process is ongoing by the MoH.

The full HRW report: