*** ----> Shots fired, five lives lost, dozens injured at Gaza aid distribution | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Shots fired, five lives lost, dozens injured at Gaza aid distribution

AFP | Jerusalem                                              

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

An aid delivery in Gaza descended into chaos yesterday with shots fired and a Red Crescent paramedic reporting five people killed, as almost six months of Israeli bombardment has left hundreds of thousands in the Palestinian territory in desperate need.

The paramedic at a nearby hospital said that dozens were also injured by gunfire and a stampede during a rare aid distribution in north Gaza, which has received the least help.

Witnesses told AFP shots were fired both by Gazans overseeing the aid delivery and Israeli troops nearby, and panicked lorry drivers drove quickly away, hitting people trying to get the food. The Israeli military told AFP it had “no record of the incident described”.

Aid deliveries have become increasingly fraught as the needs of Gazans increase. Foreign powers have ramped up airdrops of aid but several people have been killed by falling crates, or stampedes or drowned trying to retrieve packages from the Mediterranean.

Two charities have organised aid deliveries by sea, with their second mission in just over two weeks setting sail from Cyprus on Saturday.

Their flotilla is carrying around 400 tonnes of supplies. “There is not enough aid getting through to Gaza and we need to open as many ways as possible,” Juan Camilo of World Central Kitchens, one of the charities, said in a video shot from the flotilla and posted on social media.

UN agencies have said repeatedly that overland deliveries are the only way of supplying aid in the volume needed.

Plight of the territory Palestinian Dalia al-Afifi, displaced to Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, has constructed a home from the cans received in aid packages to “make a point to the world” about the plight of the territory.

“This must stop. Our lives are not just cans,” she told AFP. The Israeli bombardment continued apace into yesterday with the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip saying at least 82 people were killed overnight. The Hamas press office said “civilian houses” had been hit by dozens of Israeli strikes.

The Israeli military said it had struck dozens of targets including militants and their compounds.