Israeli Strike Killed 7 Aid Workers in Gaza

Seven aid workers associated with World Central Kitchen lost their lives in the Gaza Strip when their convoy was attacked on Monday night, as reported by both the aid organization and Gazan health officials.

The relief organization, established by renowned Spanish chef José Andrés, stated that the convoy fell victim to an Israeli strike. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, in response to the incident, described it as a tragic occurrence of unintentional harm to innocent individuals by Israeli forces. He assured that Israel was coordinating with foreign governments regarding the matter.

The convoy, consisting of two armored cars and another vehicle, was targeted as it departed a warehouse in Deir al-Balah, located in the central Gaza Strip. According to World Central Kitchen, the aid workers had just completed unloading over 100 tons of food aid delivered by sea to Gaza.

Verified videos and photos indicate that the convoy sustained multiple hits. Three white vehicles were left in ruins, spaced nearly a mile and a half apart along the Al-Rashid coastal road. The insignia of World Central Kitchen was visible on items within the destroyed vehicles.

While the type of munition used and its origin remained unclear, it was confirmed that among the victims were individuals from the United States, Canada, Australia, Britain, Gaza, and Poland. Notable among them were Zomi Frankcom from Australia and Damian Sobol from Poland.

Palestinian medics retrieved the bodies of the victims and transferred them to a hospital in Deir al-Balah. Foreign victims were slated to be transported out of Gaza into Egypt.

Saif Abu Taha, a 26-year-old Gazan who worked as a driver and translator for World Central Kitchen, was also among the casualties. Described as an enterprising young man fluent in English, he and his colleagues were enthusiastic about unloading the much-needed food aid before the tragic event.

Various international figures, including British Foreign Minister David Cameron, emphasized the importance of protecting humanitarian workers and urged Israel to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

The attack occurred within the context of ongoing conflict in Gaza and the West Bank, adding to the toll of casualties among aid workers reported by a senior U.N. relief official. Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged Israel’s responsibility and pledged to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The Jennifer, the vessel carrying the aid, returned to Larnaca following the attack, disrupting further aid delivery plans. The status of future missions remains uncertain as additional aid awaits in warehouses in Larnaca.

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