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Protesters in Israel arrested after attacking Gaza aid trucks

Written by on May 14, 2024

(JERUSALEM) — Multiple people have been arrested in connection with an attack Monday on an aid convoy headed toward Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

Israeli protestors blocked aid trucks that were headed to Gaza from the West Bank. Humanitarian groups say civilians are facing a “full-blown famine” and a humanitarian crisis amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Footage of the incident, captured by bystanders at the scene and shared online, appears to show protesters blocking and raiding the aid vehicles near Hebron that were passing through the West Bank from Jordan, destroying boxes of water, food and other aid bound for Gaza. Aid trucks can also be seen set ablaze and left burning on the road.

The attack on the convoy is the culmination of weeks of demonstrators attempting to block aid trucks from reaching Gaza, with protesters claiming the aid will instead wind up in the hands of the terrorist group Hamas.

The White House condemned the destruction of the aid, calling it “completely and utterly unacceptable behavior.”

“It is a total outrage that there are people who are attacking and looting these convoys coming from Jordan going to Gaza to deliver humanitarian assistance,” said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a press briefing on Monday. “We are looking at the tools that we have to respond to this and we are also raising our concerns at the highest level of the Israeli government.

Israeli law enforcement has publicly said only that an investigation into the aid convoy attack is ongoing.

Several aid organizations, including United Nations organizations, have warned that Gaza is experiencing “catastrophic” levels of hunger and need.

Immediately following Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas launched a surprise terrorist attack in Israel, Israel implemented a blockade of Gaza and severely limited the amount of goods that travel into the territory. Since then, some Gaza border crossings have reopened, but relief workers say the aid getting through falls far short of what’s needed.

Amnesty International is among the human rights organizations that have accused Israel of not providing enough authorization to deliver sufficient aid to Gaza, and that ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza make it difficult to deliver what little aid is authorized.

Israel denies the accusations, and counters that the U.N., its partners and other aid agencies have created logistical challenges, resulting in a bottleneck of aid intended for Gaza. Additionally, the Israeli government claimed Hamas steals aid meant for civilians. The U.N. and Hamas dispute the respective claims.

More than 180 aid workers from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and associated agencies have been killed while providing aid in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas war began, according to the U.N. agency.

In Gaza, more than 34,790 people have been killed and more than 78,000 have been injured since the war began, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health. More than 1,700 Israelis have been killed and more than 8,700 injured, according to Israeli officials.

ABC News’ Mary Kekatos and Marcus Moore contributed to this report.

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