Israel To Investigate Int’l Aid Workers Killed in Gaza

By Yoni Weiss

A man displays bloodstained British, Polish, and Australian passports after an alleged Israeli airstrike, in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Monday night. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

An incident under review by Israel occurred after four international humanitarian workers from the World Central Kitchen organization and their Palestinian driver were killed late Monday in what is alleged to be an Israeli airstrike in central Gaza. This tragedy unfolded hours after the team had received a shipment of food supplies for the region.

At Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah, footage revealed the aftermath, showing the five victims, some of whom were dressed in protective gear bearing the charity’s insignia. Identification documents revealed among the deceased were nationals from Britain, Australia, and Poland, with the fourth aid worker’s nationality yet to be disclosed.

The Israeli military has stated it is reviewing the incident to fully understand the events that led to this unfortunate loss of life. World Central Kitchen, established by renowned chef José Andrés, acknowledged the incident, committing to provide further details upon acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant discussed the incident during an operational situation assessment. Gallant referred to the tragic nature of the incident and said that a team would be formed to conduct a thorough investigation, the results of which will be used to prevent further such incidents from occurring in the future. He highlighted the important work undertaken by international aid organizations, as well as Israel’s commitment to working closely with partner countries and organizations and facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid.

Earlier on Monday, three aid ships from Cyprus had delivered approximately 400 tons of food and supplies to Gaza, arranged by the charity in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates. This delivery marked the organization’s second aid shipment following an initial pilot distribution the previous month.

The UNRWA reported that the ongoing conflict in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of 173 of its staff members, a figure that does not encompass casualties among other aid organizations’ personnel. World Central Kitchen board member Robert Egger and media sources identified the Australian victim of the Monday night strike as 44-year-old Zomi Frankcom from Melbourne. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is urgently working to confirm the reports of an Australian casualty, emphasizing the imperative to protect civilian lives amid the conflict.

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