Deaths of Gazan Children Likely to ‘Rapidly’ Rise Amid Aid Snarls, U.N. Warns

Days after an aid delivery in Gaza turned into a deadly disaster, Israel pushed ahead with another convoy bound for northern Gaza on Sunday, a Palestinian businessman involved in the initiative said, as the United Nations warned that deaths of children and infants are likely to “rapidly increase” if food and medical supplies are not delivered immediately.

Izzat Aqel, the businessman, said the renewed aid delivery effort on Sunday came after only one of at least 16 trucks carrying supplies to the north a day earlier made it to Gaza City. The rest, he said, had been surrounded by desperate Gazans and emptied in the Nuseirat neighborhood in central Gaza.

COGAT, the Israeli agency responsible for coordinating aid deliveries into Gaza, said on X on Sunday that 277 trucks entered Gaza, what the agency said was the highest number of trucks to enter the enclave in a single day since the start of the war. It was unclear how many of those trucks reached northern Gaza.

Delivering supplies into Gaza, especially the north, has taken on increased urgency in recent days as the United Nations has warned that many Gazans are on the edge of famine.

Israeli officials have worked in recent days with multiple Gazan businessmen to organize private aid convoys. But a convoy that arrived in Gaza City before dawn on Thursday ended in devastation. More than 100 Palestinians were killed after many thousands of people massed around trucks laden with food and supplies, Gazan health officials said.

Israeli and Palestinian officials and witnesses offered sharply divergent accounts of the chaos. Witnesses described extensive shooting by Israeli forces, and doctors at Gaza hospitals said most of the casualties were from gunfire. The Israeli military said most of the victims were trampled in a crush of people trying to seize the cargo, although Israeli officials acknowledged that troops had opened fire at members of the crowd who, the army said, had approached “in a manner that endangered them.”

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