At least 20 killed in another strike on aid line, Israel denies involvement

Palestinians shop at a local market next to a destroyed residential building by the Israeli airstrikes, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Thursday
Palestinians shop at a local market next to a destroyed residential building by the Israeli airstrikes, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Thursday Copyright Fatima Shbair/AP
By AP, Euronews
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The attack on a food queue at the Kuwait roundabout comes as the Palestinian Authority head appoints a new Prime Minister

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The Gaza Ministry of Health has said that 20 dead Palestinians and 155 injuries have reached al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City after an Israeli strike on the Kuwait Roundabout, east of Gaza City, where civilians were waiting for food aid. 

“The wounded lie on the floor in al-Shifa Medical Complex,” the ministry said in a statement. They included that medical teams were struggling to deal with the volume and type of injuries due to weakened capabilities. 

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has denied it was responsible for the attack, saying that it was assessing the incident.

Palestinian Authority appoints new Prime Minister but faces scepticism

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, facing US pressure to reform the Palestinian Authority, has appointed his long-time economic adviser as the next prime minister.

Mohammad Mustafa, a US-educated economist and political independent, will head a technocratic government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank that could potentially administer Gaza ahead of eventual statehood. 

But those plans face major obstacles, including strong opposition from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It’s unclear whether the appointment of a new Cabinet led by a close Abbas ally would be sufficient to meet US demands for reform, as the 88-year-old president would remain in overall control.

Washington welcomed his appointment but urged that Mostafa quickly form a Cabinet to implement change.

US imposes sanctions

The Biden administration on Thursday imposed sanctions on three extremist Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank who are accused of harassing and attacking Palestinians to pressure them to leave their land.

Two farms that the settlers run were also targeted in the move that is likely to increase already heightened tensions between the U.S. and Israel over the Gaza war.

The announcement from the State Department and Treasury comes at a time of increasing friction between President Joe Biden and Netanyahu, whose far-right government has reacted angrily to previous sanctions imposed against West Bank settlers.

US officials, including Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have repeatedly raised concerns about a surge in settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank since Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip began. 

Israel has said it is taking action against such attacks and argued that the sanctions are unnecessary.

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