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Israel plans to equip Gaza civilians with arms: Report

Published:

NEW DELHI: As a part of wider planning for humanitarian supplies, Israeli officials are now considering

arming

some

Palestinian citizens

in

Gaza

to provide

security protection

for aid convoys into the besieged enclave.
According to a report in the Israel Hayom daily, with civil order increasingly strained in Hamas-run Gaza, the issue of secure distribution of supplies has become a major problem after the municipal police refused to provide security to convoys amid the risk of being targeted by Israeli forces.

Arms will only be provided to those Palestinians who dissociate from militant groups including Hamas, the Israel Hayom reported. The report further said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had postponed a decision on the issue.
The Prime Minister’s office declined to comment on the report, which came a week after dozens of Palestininas were killed in an incident in which the Israeli troops opened fire on a crowd which surrounded a convoy of aid trucks entering northern Gaza.

On Friday, the Israeli military also released the results of the probe reviewing the circumstances behind the February 29 truck convoy incident. In a statement, the military said that the command review found that IDF troops did not fire at the humanitarian convoy, but did fire at a number of suspects who approached the nearby forces and posed a threat to them.
Hamas rejected the report which it said was an attempt to exonerate soldiers from the “horrific crime”.
Palestinian health authorities said that more than 100 people were killed in the incident, most shot by Israeli troops. Israel has previously said most of the dead and wounded were trampled or run over as people scrambled for supplies.

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