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Massacre at food aid base in Gaza: What happened amid Israeli fire?

(CNN) –– One of the worst tragedies of Israel's war against Hamas occurred on Thursday, when dozens of Palestinians died while trying to get food aid in Gaza City.

At least 104 people were killed and 760 wounded by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fire as hungry and desperate Palestinian civilians gathered around food aid trucks, the health ministry said.Palestinians in Gaza. CNN cannot independently confirm these figures.

The incident emerged against a backdrop of widespread famine and extreme poverty in the besieged enclave, where food aid is so scarce that it is often delivered amid scenes of panic.

However, there are conflicting stories surrounding the tragedy, as pointed out by Israel and by witnesses at the scene.

This is what we know.

What happened?

The deaths came amid chaotic scenes on Haroun Al Rashid Street in western Gaza City, where starving Palestinians had gathered to receive food aid.

According to witnesses, a convoy of at least 18 food trucks sent by regional countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived around 4.30am on Thursday.

Witnesses said civilians gathered around aid trucks hoping for food, and Israeli forces soon opened fire.

Aid trucks tried to escape the area, accidentally hitting other people and causing more deaths and injuries, witnesses added to CNN. Ambulances had difficulty reaching the injured because debris blocked the road, one of the witnesses, Ahmed Abu Al Faul, told CNN.

Most of the victims were hit by aid trucks trying to escape Israeli fire, said Qader al-Zanoun, a local journalist in Gaza.

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Al Janoun, who witnessed the incident, said that while the crowd was waiting for the food distribution, the chaos and confusion, which led to people running away from the trucks, only started when the Israeli soldiers started. Shooting.

“Most of the dead were hit by aid trucks during the chaos, and were trying to escape the Israeli fire,” Al Zanoun said.

Gaza mass shooting 2

Following the incident, an injured Palestinian is receiving medical treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital. (Credit: Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu/Getty Images)

What does Israel say?

Israel's account of the incident changed over the course of the day.

In its first reports, the IDF said the incident began when Palestinians tried to loot the trucks. “Early this morning, when humanitarian aid trucks entered northern Gaza, Gazans surrounded the trucks and looted the distributed goods. “During the incident, dozens of Gazans were injured due to being pushed and trampled,” they told CNN.

Hours later, an Israeli military spokesman told a briefing Thursday that there had been two separate incidents involving aid trucks in Gaza.

First, he said, the trucks entered northern Gaza and were surrounded by crowds of people, leading to vehicles running over people. Later, a group of Palestinians approached Israeli forces, who then opened fire on them.

“Trucks were heading north, then there was a jam, then there was an incident against our forces. This is what happened this morning,” the spokesman said.

However, that timeline directly contradicts eyewitness accounts, which said the Israeli military opened fire on people near the trucks in an attempt to drive away the panicked drivers.

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IDF spokesman Daniel Hargari told a news conference on Thursday that there was no attack on the aid convoy. “I would like to repeat it. There was no IDF attack against the aid convoy. Rather, the IDF carried out a humanitarian operation there,” he stressed.

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