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Settlers attacking aid convoys ‘with impunity’

Alameen Templeton

“israel” is arguing Friday in the International Court of Justice, under oath, that it’s ensuring enough food is entering Gaza to feed its people.

But its brazen lies before the entire world at its highest forum are being undone by its own citizens who are attacking with impunity aid convoys bringing vital food to the pulverised ghetto.

Palestinian truck drivers delivering aid have recounted “barbaric” scenes on Monday as their vehicles were obstructed and vandalized by Israeli settlers while soldiers supposedly guarding the convoy stood by and watched.

The attack at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, has drawn international condemnation after videos on social media showed Israeli settlers throwing boxes of essential supplies to the ground and setting at least one vehicle on fire.

Yazid al-Zoubi, 26, told Al Mayadeen the convoy of 50 to 60 trucks left in a convoy “with an army vehicle in front of us and an army vehicle behind us, and we took a special army road that civilians could not cross.

“Suddenly, after 20 minutes on the road, near the crossing, we were surprised by at least 400 settlers. They attacked us. The rest of the drivers and I escaped from the vehicles after the settlers starting throwing stones at us.”

Zoubi said the situation escalated when settlers began smashing windscreens and puncturing their tires before climbing onto the vehicles and tossing food packages onto the road.

Humanitarian officials state that Gaza’s population requires at least 500 truckloads of food, fuel, and other essentials daily. The UN says only six trucks have entered Gaza since the Zionist assault on Gaza started 10 days ago.

Zoubi said the Israeli soldiers escorting the convoy did nothing to enforce their legal obligation to ensure food reached Gaza, as ordered by the International Court of Justice.

“Even though they were present and watching what was happening, the army was at the service of the settlers,” he stressed.

Zoubi said drivers who fled the scene were attacked when they returned later to collect their belongings.0

“At that point the army gathered us and ordered us to raise our hands on the walls,” he stated. “The settlers were free to terrorize us. I have never been attacked so brutally before.”

“The state of terror I experienced is indescribable. Even now I have nightmares at night. My psychological state is broken, I cannot think properly, I can’t sleep. I cannot work. We are not smugglers. We agreed to transport goods legally from the crossing under the watch and supervision of the Israeli authorities.”

Haitham Abu Khairo, who owned one of the vandalized trucks, reported losing approximately 250,000 Israeli shekels (£53,700) in the attack.

“I managed to escape but what happened is serious,” he told The Guardian.

Adel Amer, a member of a West Bank haulers’ union, told Reuters about 15 trucks were damaged in the attack, with damages amounting to approximately £1.6 million.

Israeli police claimed that the incident was “under investigation” – a standard response, although it was one of regular, unobstructed attacks on aid convoys travelling through Israeli-controlled territory.

Monday’s attack was claimed by a settler group, Order 9 which has been behind most of the attacks and operates without hindrance in the West Bank. Last week, demonstrators blocked a road near the desert town of Mitzpe Ramon in protest against aid lorries entering Gaza.

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