Israeli Troops Kill UN Aid Truck Driver

UN to Suspend Aid Operations in Gaza as Israel Continues to Attacks its Workers

by Jason Ditz, January 08, 2009

Shortly before Israel was scheduled to start another three hour humanitarian pause in its now nearly two week long attack on the Gaza Strip, an Israeli tank attacked a United Nations aid truck at the Erez border crossing, killing the driver and seriously wounding another aid worker.

Following its attack on the aid truck, the Israeli military closed the crossing, through which todays humanitarian shipments were supposed to flow. It seems Gaza’s residents will face another foodless Thursday. The United Nations also announced that it would be halting its aid shipments into the beset strip until Israel promises to stop attacking their aid workers, with spokesman Chris Gunness adding “we’ve been coordinating with them and yet our staff continue to be hit and killed.”

The vehicle was clearly marked with a UN flag and insignia, and the reason behind the Israeli attack wasn’t apparent, though the army claims to be investigating. Likely it will be just another in the long string of unexplained killings of medical and humanitarian aid workers, coupled with an even longer list of unexplained killings of Gaza civilians.

Israel is also being petitioned over the large number of attacks by its military on ambulances, and the Red Cross is complaining that the Israeli military had denied them access to injured civilians for several days at a time. As the death toll continues to soar and is peopled overwhelmingly by civilians since the ground invasion began, Israel will be under increasing international pressure to halt its killings, though it seems unlikely to be considering that in the near term.

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