US Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israel for Flour Massacre

UNITED NATIONS, 4 Mar 2024

Kyle Anzalone | Antiwar - TRANSCEND Media Service

Flour Massacre, Gaza Mar 2024 – Al Mayadeen English

1 Mar 2024 – The US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for a massacre of civilians surrounding an aid convoy in Gaza, a motion supported by all other member states. The Israel Defense Forces has acknowledged its soldiers fired on the crowd.

On Thursday, hundreds of Palestinians were killed and injured by Israeli soldiers as they gathered around an aid convoy near Gaza City. As some people took aid off the trucks, the IDF claimed the same Palestinians approached Israeli soldiers nearby, saying its troops felt “endangered” and opened fire. The killing has been dubbed the “flour massacre.”

More than 100 Palestinians were killed in the shooting and ensuing panic, while at least 750 others were injured. Tel Aviv has attempted to blame the Palestinians for the deaths, saying the violence was caused by the mob. Washington has claimed it needs more information to assess the incident.

While Israeli troops would bear responsibility for the carnage whether they fired upon civilians or merely incited a deadly stampede, doctors treating the victims said most of the injuries were gunshot wounds. Some outlets report that IDF forces also fired artillery or tank shells at the desperate crowd.

Asked about the incident on Thursday, Washington’s deputy UN envoy Robert Wood told reporters that the White House would not condemn Israel’s actions given contradictory reports about how the massacre unfolded. “We don’t have all the facts on the ground – that’s the problem,” he said.

Several of Washington’s allies disagree, however, with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stating, “The reports from Gaza shock me. The Israeli army must fully explain how the mass panic and shooting could have happened.” She added, “In Gaza, people are closer to dying than to living. More humanitarian aid needs to come in. Immediately.”

French President Emmanuel Macron similarly voiced “Deep indignation at the images coming from Gaza,” where he said “civilians have been targeted by Israeli soldiers.”

“I express my strongest condemnation of these shootings and call for truth, justice, and respect for international law,” he wrote in a post on X.

Thursday marks the fifth time Washington has used its veto power to kill a Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire or condemning Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians in the Strip. As one of the five permanent members of the body, the US can block any motion from passing.

With a growing number of Palestinians on the brink of starvation amid dire food shortages, aid convoys have increasingly faced unrest from hungry crowds – most crucially in devastated northern Gaza, where aid shipments have all but ground to a halt. Jens Laerke, the spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, explained that famine is now almost inevitable, and “once a famine is declared, it is too late for too many people.”

The UN estimates that one in four Palestinians are teetering on the edge of famine. The situation is worst in northern Gaza where one in six children are suffering from acute malnutrition and wasting.

In response to Hamas’ October 7 attack, top Israeli officials declared that Gazans would be cut off from food, water, fuel, and other aid. Tel Aviv has largely followed through with that threat, allowing only a trickle of aid into the besieged coastal enclave.

World Peace Foundation executive director Alex de Waal explained the starvation inflicted on the Palestinians is uniquely horrific in recent history. “Nothing is comparable in terms of the speed and the concentrated effort at destroying what is essential to sustain the life of people – nothing compares to Gaza over the last 75 years. The speed of deterioration of humanitarian conditions is absolutely terrifying,” he said.

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Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.

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