EU criticizes attack on aid convoy in West Bank

Settlers in the West Bank had blocked an aid convoy destined for Gaza

EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell has demanded Israel do something about “extremists” attacking humanitarian aid convoys on their way to Gaza. Following the Israeli offensive on the city of Rafah, which is on the border of the Palestinian enclave with Egypt, supplies of food and other goods for Gaza have been rerouted through Israel. On Monday, one such convoy was ransacked near Hebron. “I’m outraged by the repeated and still unchecked attacks perpetrated by Israeli extremists on aid convoys on their way to Gaza, including from Jordan. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are starving,” Borrell (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday evening. He urged the Israeli authorities to “stop these operations and hold those responsible accountable.” His condemnation comes after US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan denounced the attack during Monday’s White House press briefing. “It is a total outrage that there are people who are attacking and looting these convoys coming from Jordan going to Gaza to deliver humanitarian assistance,” Sullivan said. “It’s something we make no bones about – we find it completely and utterly unacceptable.”

In Monday’s incident, a convoy was stopped at the Tarqumiya checkpoint near Hebron and a group of people destroyed some of the food from the trucks. Israeli peace activist Sapir Sluzker Amran, who witnessed the attack, identified the perpetrators as a group called Tsav 9. “Most of them were settlers. They also live there, they are settlers in the settlements in the area,” she told CBS News on Tuesday. “The common theme among all of them is that they are from the right-wing Zionist groups.” Photos and videos taken by Amran show the attackers climbing onto the trucks, throwing food packages onto the roadside and dumping out flour from the sacks. “They started a few months ago, they fundraise lots of money and they have many supporters in the government,” Amran told CBS, claiming the Israeli military and police leak the location of aid convoys to the group. She also claimed that one of the settlers struck her during Monday’s incident and that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) protected the attacker instead. Tsav 9 is a group that has pledged to block all aid to Gaza while any Israeli hostages remain in the hands of Hamas, the Palestinian militant organization that took over 200 captives during its October 7 incursion last year. The Israeli police said that it was investigating the convoy attack and had detained “multiple suspects.”