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PRCS statement on the use of humanitarian trucks for military operations. (Photo: Screenshot)

From the Palestine Chronicle editorial board

“Hiding military forces in an aid truck is considered a war crime against the civilian population. The occupying forces deceived the people by pretending to provide aid.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has warned that the use of a truck carrying humanitarian aid as a cover for Israel’s military operation in Nuseirat, which resulted in the deaths of over 200 Palestinians, posed serious risks.

“Last Saturday, Israeli occupation forces entered the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza with an aid truck, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people,” the PRCS said in a opinion On Monday.

According to the Gaza government media office, 274 people were killed in the massacre, including 64 children and 57 women, and nearly 700 others injured.

“Israel’s actions are concerning for several reasons. One of them is that using a trusted source to target people caught in the conflict is a violation of international humanitarian and customary law, which prohibits the crime of deceit,” the PRCS said. “Hiding military forces in an aid truck is considered a war crime against civilians. Occupation forces deceived people by pretending to provide aid.”

Exclusive footage obtained by Al-Jazeera shows Israeli special forces using an aid truck and a civilian vehicle to carry out the military operation on Saturday.

The images show civilian vehicles escorted by Israeli military tanks entering the western areas of the Nuseirat camp as a series of unprecedented air strikes are carried out on the camp and various areas in the central Gaza Strip. Four prisoners were rescued during the operation.

“Exposes workers to risk”

The second reason for such action, according to PRCS, is the “destruction of the trust” of the civilian population in those providing assistance.

“This puts humanitarian and health workers at risk again,” the PRCS said. “These measures come at a time when people in Gaza are in urgent need of assistance, suffering acute food shortages and continuing fear of famine.”

Fake aid truck used for rescue operation – US “special cell” involved in Nuseirat massacre

The PRCS called on the international community to “hold the occupying authorities accountable for their actions.”

“There must be no massacres of civilians. They must be protected together with humanitarian aid workers and medical personnel in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

The Gaza government’s media office said in a statement on Sunday that “reports from the field indicated that the Israeli occupation army used two civilian vehicles” in the massacre – a “small civilian vehicle” and “a transport vehicle carrying goods, mattresses and aid.” These were “clearly visible” in the video clips distributed by the media, the statement said.

In addition, the Israeli forces involved in the operation were disguised as displaced persons and wore “civilian clothes”.

Not the first time

Israeli forces have previously disguised themselves as civilians to carry out an operation.

In January, about ten undercover occupation troops, disguised as medical personnel, infiltrated the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin and killed three Palestinian teenagers.

The young people were proven to be fighters of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that undercover investigators used silenced pistols in the attack.

“Doctors” with silenced guns – How Israel killed three Palestinian teenagers in Jenin hospital

Ongoing genocide

Israel, which is currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against the Palestinians, has been waging a devastating war against Gaza since October 7.

According to the Gaza Strip Health Ministry, 37,164 Palestinians were killed and 84,832 injured. In addition, at least 11,000 people are missing, presumed to have perished under the rubble of their homes throughout the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say the majority of the dead and injured are women and children.

The Israeli war led to an acute famine, especially in the north of the Gaza Strip, and caused the deaths of many Palestinians, especially children.

Gaza’s agony – death toll rises amid severe humanitarian crisis

The Israeli aggression also resulted in the forced displacement of nearly two million people from across the Gaza Strip. The vast majority of those displaced were forced to the densely populated southern city of Rafah, near the Egyptian border. It was the largest mass exodus from Palestine since the Nakba of 1948.

According to Israel, 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the flood relief operation in Al-Aqsa on October 7. Israeli media reported that many Israelis were killed by friendly fire that day.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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