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U.S. sanctions Israeli group for disrupting Gaza humanitarian aid

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on extremist Israeli group Tzav 9, accusing it of blocking convoys and looting and burning trucks trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Agencies and A News WORLD
Published June 14,2024
A view of trucks carrying aid to Gaza that were stopped after they were damaged by Israeli settlers near a checkpoint near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank May 14,2024. (REUTERS File Photo)

The U.S. Department of State on Friday imposed sanctions on an Israeli group for disrupting humanitarian aid to the civilians in the Gaza Strip.

"Individuals from Tzav 9 have repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, sometimes violently," the department said.

For months, it said that individuals from Tzav 9 have repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blockading roads, along their route from Jordan to Gaza, including in the West Bank.

They also have damaged aid trucks and dumped life-saving humanitarian aid onto the road, it said, adding: "On May 13, 2024, Tzav 9 members looted and then set fire to two trucks near Hebron in the West Bank carrying humanitarian aid destined for men, women, and children in Gaza."

The provision of humanitarian assistance is vital to preventing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza from worsening and to mitigating the risk of famine, it said.

Stressing that the Government of Israel has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian convoys transiting Israel and the West Bank en route to Gaza, the department said: "We will not tolerate acts of sabotage and violence targeting this essential humanitarian assistance."

The U.S. will continue to use all tools to promote accountability for those who attempt or undertake such "heinous acts," it said, urging Israeli authorities to do the same.

Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

Nearly 37,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 85,100 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.