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30000 people killed in Gaza, says UN

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It comes as more than 100 people in Gaza were killed on Thursday while trying to access aid. Hamas and Israel have provided differing accounts of what happened.
30000 people have been killed gaza

More than 30000 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, according to data cited by the United Nations (UN).

It comes as more than 100 people in Gaza were killed on Thursday while trying to access aid. Hamas and Israel have provided differing accounts of what happened.

Background

On 7 October, Hamas launched an attack on Israel. According to data cited by the UN, roughly 1,200 people were killed. Hamas, which Australia lists as a terrorist organisation, captured about 240 hostages and 134 hostages remain captive today.

Israel responded by declaring war and bombarding Gaza. According to data cited by the UN, more than 30000 people have been killed in Gaza since 7 October. Israel’s war in Gaza has caused a humanitarian crisis. Israel has said it will not stop fighting until all hostages are returned and Hamas is destroyed.

Aid convoy

On Thursday, the distribution of aid to people in northern Gaza turned deadly. According to data cited by the UN, more than 100 people were killed. Hamas and the Israeli Government have provided different accounts of what happened.

Hamas said the Israeli army shot at thousands of citizens “while they were waiting to receive food aid in Gaza city”. Hamas called it a “heinous massacre”.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces said military tanks fired warning shots, but did not “strike” the crowds. It attributed the deaths to a stampede, saying some people “began violently pushing and even trampling other Gazans to death”.

Humanitarian crisis

In its most recent update, the UN said the healthcare system in Gaza “is struggling to remain functional, amid severe shortages of fuel and medications, spread of infectious diseases, and access constraints”.

It said 97% of water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption.

It also said the risk of death from starvation is growing and disproportionately affecting children and pregnant women.

The UN has cited reports that children are dying of malnutrition in Gaza.

One UN official said “if nothing is done, we fear widespread famine in Gaza is almost inevitable.“

Ceasefire

Earlier this week, U.S. President Joe Biden said a temporary ceasefire deal was “close” and said it could happen as soon as Monday. However, in light of the recent deaths, Biden said it would now “probably not [happen] by Monday”.

Also this week, Ahmad Abdelhadi, a Hamas official, said in a televised interview: “We are not interested in engaging with what’s been floated, because it does not fulfil our demands.”

Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “I am rejecting the international pressure to end the war before we achieve all of its goals.”

On the incident with the aid convoy, Biden added: “There’s two competing versions of what happened. I don’t have an answer yet.”

The UN defines a ceasefire as a long-term end to fighting. In November last year, there was a brief ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for about a week.

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