Dozens of Israeli Protesters Attack Truck in Apparent Effort to Block Gaza Aid

 A soldier holds a child as smoke rises in northern Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, as seen from Israel, May 17, 2024. (Reuters)
A soldier holds a child as smoke rises in northern Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, as seen from Israel, May 17, 2024. (Reuters)
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Dozens of Israeli Protesters Attack Truck in Apparent Effort to Block Gaza Aid

 A soldier holds a child as smoke rises in northern Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, as seen from Israel, May 17, 2024. (Reuters)
A soldier holds a child as smoke rises in northern Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, as seen from Israel, May 17, 2024. (Reuters)

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 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 Oct. 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.



Israeli Tanks at Edge of Rafah's Mawasi Refuge Zone

A man walks across  fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024.  (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
A man walks across fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
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Israeli Tanks at Edge of Rafah's Mawasi Refuge Zone

A man walks across  fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024.  (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)
A man walks across fallen tents the day after a strike on the al-Mawasi area, northwest of the Palestinian city of Rafah on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Bashar TALEB / AFP)

Israeli tanks advanced to the edge of the Mawasi displaced persons' camp in the northwest of the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday in fierce fighting with Hamas-led fighters, residents said.
Images of two Israeli tanks stationed on a hilltop overlooking the coastal area went viral on social media, but Reuters could not independently verify them.

"The fighting with the resistance has been intense. The occupation forces are overlooking the Mawasi area now, which forced families there to head for Khan Younis," said one resident, who asked not to be named, on a chat app.

More than eight months into Israel's war in the Hamas-administered Palestinian enclave, its advance is focused on the two areas its forces have yet to seize: Rafah on Gaza's southern tip and the area surrounding Deir al-Balah in the center.

Residents said Israeli tanks had pushed deeper into western and northern Rafah in recent days, blowing up dozens of houses.

The Israeli military said it was continuing "intelligence-based, targeted operations" in the Rafah area and had located weapons stores and tunnel shafts, and killed Palestinian gunmen.

The armed wings of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement said their fighters had attacked Israeli forces in Rafah with anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs and pre-planted explosive devices.

Elsewhere, an Israeli airstrike killed eight Palestinians in Sabra, a suburb of Gaza City in the north, and another strike killed two people in Nuseirat in central Gaza.

The military said it had struck dozens of targets throughout the Strip.

On Saturday, Palestinian health officials said at least 40 Palestinians had been killed in separate Israeli strikes in some northern Gaza districts, where the Israeli army said it had attacked Hamas's military infrastructure. Hamas said the targets were the civilian population.

In Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, health officials at Kamal Adwan Hospital said a baby had died of malnutrition, taking the number of children dead of malnutrition or dehydration since Oct. 7 to at least 30, a number that health officials say reflects under-recording.