World Powers Condemn Deadly Israeli Air Strike on Aid Workers in Gaza

Wed Apr 03 2024
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PARIS, France: World powers on Tuesday condemned Israel’s deadly airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which killed seven charity workers as they unloaded desperately needed aid brought by sea to the war-torn region.

World Central Kitchen, one of two non-governmental organizations leading the effort to deliver the aid by boat, said “targeted Israeli attacks” had affected Australians, Britons, Palestinians and Polish, and said an American-Canadian employee had been killed.

US President Joe Biden called the US-based celebrity chef Jose Andres, who heads the World Central Kitchen, to say that he was “heartbroken” over the strike and to say that “he will make clear to Israel that humanitarian aid workers must be protected”, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, told a briefing.


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Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said the strike highlighted the “disregard for world humanitarian law and a disregard for the protection of humanitarian workers”.

“The multiplicity of such events is the inevitable result of the way this war is currently being conducted,” said the UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, urged a “swift, impartial investigation” and urged Israel to do more to protect innocent civilians, a call that was echoed by Germany.

President of Israel, President Isaac Herzog said he called charity head Andres to express his “deep sorrow and sincere apologies over the tragic loss of life”.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu though said the strike was “unintentional” but stopped short of apologising for the killings that he described as a “tragic case”. The army has vowed to hold an investigation and promised to “share our findings transparently”.

Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, said he was “shocked and saddened” after learning that Britons were among those killed.

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He spoke to Israeli prime minister and told him that “he was appalled by the killing of aid workers”, said a Downing Street spokesperson in a statement.

He also “demanded a thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened”.

The UK summoned the Israeli envoy to express its “unequivocal condemnation”.

Stephane Sejourne, the French Foreign Minister, said that “nothing justifies such a tragedy”. He further said that “protecting humanitarian workers is a moral and legal imperative that everyone must adhere to”.

Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, slammed the “completely unacceptable” attack, called it a “tragedy that should never have occurred”, and offered “sincere condolences” to the family of Australian volunteer Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, who was killed in the airstrike.

“She just wanted to help out through this charity. That says everything about the character of this young woman,” Albanese said.

The founder and leader of World Central Kitchen, Spanish-born US-based chef Andres, said the Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. He was heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and the whole WCK family.

He wrote on social media that it needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon.

The charity has paused its operations in Gaza.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who Tuesday visited a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, said “I expect and demand that the Israeli government clarify as soon as possible the circumstances of this brutal attack”.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who is also Spanish, said that “despite all the demands to protect civilians and humanitarian workers, we see new innocent casualties”.

“I condemn the attack and urge an investigation,” he wrote on X.

Warsaw has sought “urgent explanations” from the Israeli ambassador about the incident, which killed one Polish citizen, and offered “condolences to the family of our brave volunteer”.

Beijing also criticized the strike, which said it was “shocked” by the strike.

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