Over 100 killed and 700 hundred injured as Palestinians tried to reach aid trucks. Credit: Associated Press/Mahmoud Essa

More than 100 people were killed and over 700 injured when Israeli forces fired on Palestinians waiting to get food off an aid convoy, according to health officials.

The UN secretary-general has called for an independent investigation into the incident as Gaza officials say Israeli forces fired into crowd, an accusation which Israel denies.

The Israeli government said that aid truck drivers ‘ploughed’ into crowd, while the Israel Defence Force said Gaza residents were injured as a result of pushing and trampling as they surrounded the aid trucks and looted them.

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, has said: The Israeli army “must fully explain” how “mass panic and shooting” surrounded an aid convoy in northern Gaza.

France has also called for an independent investigation and are demanding explanations for what went on in Gaza. President Emmanuel Macron, said he felt “deep indignation at the images coming from Gaza where civilians have been targeted by Israeli soldiers.”

The EU is to increase emergency support for Palestinians by £58m during 2024.

Israeli military officials said the convoy of 30 trucks driving to northern Gaza were met by huge crowds of people trying to grab the aid they were carrying. Dozens of Palestinians were killed in the stampede and some were run over by the trucks as the drivers tried to get away, said Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson.

Israeli troops guarding the area fired warning shots toward the crowd because they felt endangered, he added.

Aid groups say it has become almost impossible to deliver humanitarian assistance in most of Gaza because of the difficulty of co-ordinating with the Israeli military, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order, with crowds of desperate people overwhelming aid convoys.

President Joe Biden said the US was still trying to determine what happened. Asked if the loss of life would complicate efforts broker a ceasefire, he said: “I know it will.”

Kamel Abu Nahel, who was being treated for a gunshot wound at Shifa Hospital, said he and others went to the distribution point in the middle of the night because they heard there would be a delivery of food.

He said Israeli troops opened fire on the crowd as people pulled boxes of flour and canned goods off the trucks, causing them to scatter, with some hiding under cars.

After the shooting stopped, people went back to the trucks, and the soldiers opened fire again. He was shot in the leg and fell over, and then a truck ran over his leg as it sped off, he said.

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