Israel-Hamas War, Day 176: Second aid ship departs from Cyprus for Gaza; several deaths during a food distribution

As negotiations to reach a truce appeared to be deadlocked on the 176th day of the war between Israel and Hamas, with both sides accusing each other of being behind the deadlock, fighting and bombings continue in the field

Israel-Hamas War, Day 176: Second aid ship departs from Cyprus for Gaza; several deaths during a food distribution

As negotiations to reach a truce appeared to be deadlocked on the 176th day of the war between Israel and Hamas, with both sides accusing each other of being behind the deadlock, fighting and bombings continue in the field.

The Israeli army declared on Saturday March 30 that it had struck dozens of targets in central Gaza. The press office of the Palestinian Islamist movement, for its part, affirmed that certain strikes targeted "dwellings", also reporting artillery fire on the city and in the south of the small, overpopulated territory.

The health ministry in the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip announced on Saturday a new toll of 32,705 people killed since the start of the Israeli military offensive. In twenty-four hours, 82 additional deaths were recorded, according to a press release from the ministry, which reports 75,190 injured in nearly six months of a war unleashed after the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, 2023.

A distribution of food aid has again caused deaths in Gaza. Shooting and a stampede killed five people and injured thirty, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported before dawn on Saturday, March 30. This new tragedy occurred, according to the relief organization, while thousands of people were waiting for the arrival of around fifteen trucks filled with flour and other food at the Kuwait roundabout, scene of previous incidents these last weeks.

Videos filmed by Agence France-Presse (AFP) show trucks advancing in the dark, amid trash fires. We hear shots all around, screams and the horns of heavy goods vehicles trying to advance.

Three of the dead people died from gunfire, according to the Red Crescent. According to testimonies, members of “popular protection committees”, responsible for supervising the distribution, fired into the air, while in the stampede and confusion trucks knocked over people.

At the same time, the testimonies also mention “heavy” fire from Israeli tanks positioned a few hundred meters away, without specifying their destination. Contacted by Agence France-Presse, the Israeli army responded that it had “no trace of the incident”. The victims were transported to Gaza Baptist Hospital.

After a first boat left the Mediterranean island on March 12, a second ship left the port of Larnaca on Saturday, using a maritime corridor between the island of Cyprus and the Palestinian enclave to deliver humanitarian aid to a population on the verge of starvation.

Carrying 400 tons of aid, the ship, accompanied by two tugboats, will take approximately sixty-five hours to reach the Gaza Strip. The American NGO World Central Kitchen specified that the cargo contained food products such as rice, pasta, flour, vegetables and proteins.

For its part, the United Arab Emirates provided a shipment of dates, which are traditionally eaten to break the fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

In a message posted on This is so that they benefit from “vital health services, including treatment of cancer, bombing injuries, kidney dialysis and other chronic illnesses,” he said. This is 1,000 more patients than at the last WHO census, at the beginning of March.

The solution is all the more urgent according to Mr. Tedros as “only ten hospitals are operating on a reduced basis in the whole of Gaza”. Before the war, Gaza had thirty-six hospitals, according to WHO figures.

The Israeli army, which accuses Hamas fighters of hiding in hospitals, announced on Saturday that it was continuing, for the thirteenth consecutive day, its "operations" in and around the largest hospital complex, that of Al-Shifa, in Gaza City. According to Hamas, Israeli troops are also present at Nasser Hospital, as well as Al-Amal Hospital, both located in the town of Khan Younes, in the south of the Strip.

On Saturday morning “four military observers from the Onust [United Nations truce monitoring body] who were carrying out a foot patrol along the “blue line” marking the border with Israel “were injured when a shell exploded nearby,” the organization said in a statement.

Deeming “unacceptable to target peacekeeping forces”, the UNUST called on all parties to “stop the heavy exchanges of fire”. This body, which includes unarmed observers, is separate from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), some 10,000 peacekeepers of which are deployed in the south of the country, on the border with Israel.

The statement added that the observers were hospitalized, announcing "to investigate the origin of the explosion." The Lebanese National Information Agency (ANI, official) affirmed that “enemy aviation”, in reference to Israel, had bombed the region of Rmeich, where the incident occurred, affirming that the patrol had been targeted by these shots. In a statement, the Israeli army assured that “contrary to press reports, the army did not target a UNIFIL vehicle in the Rmeish region this morning.” The Israeli-Lebanese border is the scene of daily exchanges of fire between Israel and Shiite Hezbollah.

Fifty-two Syrian and Lebanese Hezbollah soldiers and fighters were killed in strikes attributed to Israel on Friday in Aleppo, in northern Syria, according to a new report Saturday from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) . “The death toll from Israeli strikes (…) rose to 52 dead: 38 members of the [Syrian] regime forces, seven from Lebanese Hezbollah and seven Syrians who were members of pro-Iranian groups,” said this NGO based in the United Kingdom. and which has a vast network of sources in Syria.

The strikes targeted “a rocket depot belonging to Hezbollah” in northern Aleppo, according to the same source. According to the OSDH, this is the heaviest death toll for the Syrian army since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas. The Israeli military did not comment on the strikes in Syria, but said it had killed “deputy commander of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile unit,” Ali Naim, in southern Lebanon in an airstrike.