UK Summons Israel’s Ambassador After British Aid Workers Killed in Gaza Strike

Tue Apr 02 2024
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LONDON: The UK summoned Israel’s ambassador in London on Tuesday to express its “unequivocal condemnation” of the killing of three British aid workers, along with four other staff of a food charity, in a Gaza missile strike.

The summoning, attended by the Israeli ambassador, took place as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged Israel to provide answers regarding the “tragic incident” and emphasized the need for immediate measures to protect aid workers and facilitate humanitarian operations in Gaza.

Following the meeting, junior UK foreign minister Andrew Mitchell reiterated the demand for a “quick and transparent investigation” into the incident, stressing the importance of full accountability and the establishment of an effective deconfliction mechanism to enhance humanitarian access.

“We need to see an immediate humanitarian pause, to get aid in and the hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable ceasefire,” Mitchell added.

The US-based World Central Kitchen charity, which lost seven staff members in the strike, announced a pause in its operations after the attack, which it described as a “targeted Israeli strike.” The victims included people from Australia, Britain, Palestine, Poland, and the US-Canada.

Initially, reports indicated one British casualty, but subsequent confirmations by both the charity and the UK government revealed the deaths of three British nationals.

In response to the incident, the Israeli military stated that it was “conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron emphasized the “completely unacceptable” nature of the deaths and urged Israel to urgently explain the circumstances surrounding the incident while implementing significant changes to ensure the safety of aid workers in Gaza.

Cameron, who returned to frontline politics last year as the UK’s top diplomat, described the news as “deeply distressing” and stressed the importance of protecting humanitarian workers and facilitating their life-saving work in the region.

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