Gaza aid truck attackers claim they were tipped off by IDF soldiers, police – report

Activists who attacked a humanitarian aid truck heading to Gaza claimed that they had been receiving intelligence from individual IDF soldiers on the trucks’ whereabouts, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

Rachel Touitou, a spokesperson for Tzav 9 was cited as having claimed that the group was receiving some information from individual soldiers. However, she said It was not Tzav 9 that burned the trucks … this was not our action.”

“When a policeman or soldier’s mission is supposed to protect Israelis and instead he is sent to protect humanitarian aid convoys – knowing it will end up in the hands of Hamas – we cannot blame them or civilians who notice the trucks passing by their towns for providing intel to groups trying to block that aid,” she told The Guardian. 

“Our purpose is to highlight that feeding your enemy, in this specific case Hamas, especially during a time of war, is immoral,” said Touitou. “Israel has been delivering this humanitarian aid without expecting anything in return. And 80% of the population agrees with our stance. Hamas is reselling this aid to civilians, which is meant to be distributed for free. We will continue to block this humanitarian aid until they can prove that it is reaching the civilians.”

Earlier this week, activists stormed a truck at the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron. Footage showed men throwing humanitarian supplies.

Palestinian lorry driver, Yazid al-Zoubi, 26, described his vehicle being attacked last week. “There is full cooperation between the settlers and the army,” he told the Guardian. “We are shocked and surprised that the army did not provide us with any kind of protection. Even though they were present and watching what was happening. The army was at the service of the settlers.”

The Guardian also claimed that Israeli media had reported that two soldiers refused orders to evacuate protesters from blocking aid trucks.

An IDF spokesperson told the source “A female reserve fighter refused to carry out a task to maintain order in an area that was defined as a closed military area and as a result she was brought to disciplinary proceedings accordingly. The fighter was convicted of the crime of refusing an order. This is an incident that is not consistent with what is expected of IDF soldiers while fulfilling their mission.”

Messages claiming the IDF, police helped provide information

The source confirmed that they had reviewed messages in which far-right activists received information about truck locations and schedules. 

One reviewed message stated the protesters had “receive[d] preliminary information about the planning of moving trucks, from border crossings’ soldiers and police.”

In another message in a WhatsApp group, a member wrote on Sunday: “I received information from an officer in the IDF that they bring the trucks in front of Ofra [a settlement] into Bitin [a Palestinian village].”