On December 9, 2023, a shocking scene unfolded in the Sakaiya neighborhood of the northern Gaza Strip. Footage revealed by Israel showed Hamas militants intercepting Gazans and brazenly stealing humanitarian aid supplies from them. At least five armed combatants were caught on camera overpowering civilians and their cart, loading the seized provisions onto a white pickup truck, and then ruthlessly beating the civilians with sticks before making a swift retreat to a location identified as a terrorist base.
Condemnation and Outrage
Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson, Avihai Adrei, strongly condemned Hamas for preventing Gaza civilians from receiving food and supplies. He castigated Hamas leaders for their apparent lack of concern for the civilian population and accused them of oppression.
The images sparked widespread outrage, especially considering the severity of the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people. International efforts have been focused on ensuring the delivery of essential items like food, medicine, water, and fuel to Gaza. Israel, initially skeptical, has finally given the nod to aid shipments and announced plans to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to facilitate the process.
Palestinians Turning Against Hamas
In the backdrop of a 64-day conflict that has ravaged the Gaza Strip, many Gazans are beginning to rebel against Hamas, which they blame for their suffering and impoverishment rather than Israel. The relentless bombardment by Israel has devastated whole sections of Gaza's urban centers, leading to constant displacement of people with no safe zones. The lack of escape routes has become increasingly apparent, with people having nowhere to go due to the surrounding conflict.
Humanitarian Aid Challenges
The war between Israel and Hamas has created enormous challenges for delivering critical aid to the population. The Palestine Red Crescent Society has received a total of 3,499 aid trucks since October 21, and a new process for inspecting aid trucks entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel is currently being tested.
The US has faced criticism after vetoing a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and heavy clashes continue between the Israeli military and Hamas in multiple areas of Gaza.