Four foreign aid workers and Palestinian translator killed in Israeli strike, Gaza officials say | Gaza

Four foreign nationals have been killed in an Israeli strike in central Gaza, according to health officials in the occupied territory.

The Hamas-run Gaza government media office reported the deaths late on Monday.

The foreign aid workers were reportedly from Poland, the United Kingdom and Australia. The nationality of the fourth aid worker was not immediately known. A Palestinian translator was also reportedly killed.

The group was working for World Central Kitchen when a convoy in which they were travelling was hit by a strike south of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, local officials said.

Footage showed the bodies of the five dead at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Several of them wore protective body armour with the charity’s logo. Hospital staff showed the passports of three of the dead – British, Australian and Polish.

The source of fire could not be independently confirmed.

World Central Kitchen said in a statement online: “We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza.

“This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be a target.”

Avichay Adraee, a spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces, said in a statement:

“Following the reports regarding the World Central Kitchen personnel in Gaza today, the IDF is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.

“The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with WCK in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,” the statement said.

Medical officials said the group had been helping to deliver food and other supplies to northern Gaza that had arrived hours early by ship.

Mahmoud Thabet, a paramedic from the Palestinian Red Crescent who was on the team that brought the bodies to the hospital, told the Associated Press the aid workers’ car was hit just after crossing from northern Gaza.

The aid ships that arrived on Monday carried some 400 tons of food and supplies in a shipment organised by the United Arab Emirates and the World Central Kitchen. Last month a ship delivered 200 tons of aid in a pilot run. The Israeli military was involved in coordinating both deliveries.

The US has promoted the sea route as a new way to deliver desperately needed aid to northern Gaza, where Palestinians face imminent famine, largely cut off from the rest of the territory by Israeli forces. Israel has barred Unrwa, the main UN agency in Gaza, from making deliveries to the north, and other aid groups say sending truck convoys north has been too dangerous because of the military’s failure to ensure safe passage.

Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese said his government’s department of foreign affairs and trade was “urgently” investigating reports an Australian had been killed.

“I’m very concerned about the loss of life that is occurring in Gaza. My government has supported a sustainable ceasefire,” he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

“We’ve called for the release of hostages and there have been far too many innocent lives, Palestinian and Israeli, lost during the Gaza-Hamas conflict.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Back To Top