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Deaths of Palestinians waiting for aid must be urgently investigated – Cameron

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron has called for an urgent investigation over the “horrific” deaths of Palestinians waiting for the delivery of aid.

Israeli troops opened fire as crowds rushed to get items from an aid convoy in Gaza City on Thursday, witnesses said.

At least 115 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 were reported to have been injured.

Israel has said that many of those who died were trampled in the rush for aid, and its troops only fired when they felt they were in danger.

The head of a Gaza City hospital that treated some of those who were injured said more than 80% had been hit by gunfire.

Lord Cameron said Israel had an “obligation to ensure that significantly more humanitarian aid reaches the people of Gaza”.

He said: “The deaths of people in Gaza waiting for an aid convoy yesterday were horrific. There must be an urgent investigation and accountability. This must not happen again.

“We can’t separate what happened yesterday from the inadequate aid supplies. In February, only half the number of trucks crossed into Gaza that did in January. This is simply unacceptable.

“Israel has an obligation to ensure that significantly more humanitarian aid reaches the people of Gaza.

“We have identified a series of bottlenecks that need addressing: Israel must urgently open more crossings into Gaza; eliminate bureaucratic obstacles; enable aid operations in Gaza; and ensure there is a robust deconfliction mechanism in place to protect ordinary Palestinians, NGOs, medics and others providing aid.

“This tragedy only serves to underscore the importance of securing an immediate humanitarian pause. A sustained pause in the fighting is the only way to get life-saving aid in at the scale needed and free the hostages cruelly held by Hamas.”

It brings the Palestinian death toll to more than 30,000 since the Israel-Hamas war began nearly five months ago, according to Gaza’s health ministry.