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Monday, April 22, 2024

Outrage intensifies over aid worker deaths

International condemnation over the tragic deaths of aid workers in an Israeli airstrike is growing rapidly.

With the confirmation that three of the aid workers were British nationals, and also ex UK forces veterans, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has now told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he views the killings as, “appalling” and that the situation in Gaza is becoming “increasingly intolerable”

US President Joe Biden has also commented: “I am outraged and heart broken by the deaths of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen including one American”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak initially responded to the reports of the deaths of seven aid workers – including British nationals – in an air strike in Gaza by saying:

“We are asking Israel to investigate what happened urgently, because clearly there are questions that need to be answered.”

“My thoughts are with their friends and family.”

The Prime Minister went on to praise the work that they were doing to help those suffering in Gaza, and his shock and sadness over the tragedy. He also stated the importance of protecting those proving vital aid supplies:

“They need to be allowed to work unhindered and it is incumbent on Israel to make sure that they can do that.”

The tragedy happened on Monday when a convoy from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) was hit by an air strike as it was leaving a warehouse after delivering vital food aid supplies for Palestinian civilians. The convoy consisted of two armoured cars and a regular vehicle. The armoured cars were branded with the WCK logo.

The bodies of the aid workers were retrieved by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

The Foreign Office have confirmed that they are talking up the issue, with David Cameron stating that they wanted “a full, transparent explanation of what happened.”

Speaking on social media platform X (formerly twitter) Mr Cameron stated:

“The news of the airstrike that killed World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers in Gaza is deeply distressing. British Nationals are reported to have been killed, we are urgently working to verify this information and will provide full support to their families.”

The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee also demanded that there should be an investigation, adding: “Humanitarian agencies must be given assurances they need that their people will be protected.”

The charity, Islamic Relief, has commented on the seriousness of such incidents:

“Six months of Israeli bombing has turned Gaza into the world’s most dangerous place to deliver aid. More than 200 aid workers, mostly Palestinians, have been killed – the deadliest ever crisis for humanitarian workers.”

The Israeli Defence Force stated that they will be looking into the incident, “at the highest levels”.

“As a professional military committed to international law, we are committed to examining our operations thoroughly and transparently.”

They continued: “We will be opening a probe to examine this serious incident further.”

An IDF spokesman also stated that he had met with the WCK:

“I just spoke with the WCK founder, Chef Jose Anders, and expressed the deepest condolences of the Israeli Defence Forces to the families and the entire World Central Kitchen Family”.

 

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