World Central Kitchen pauses Gaza operations after 7 workers killed

The United Kingdom has taken a firm stance following the tragic killing of World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza, including three British nationals, summoning the Israeli ambassador to London for a decisive discussion.

Tel Aviv: World Central Kitchen said it was suspending its aid operations in Gaza after seven of its workers were killed overnight.

“World Central Kitchen is pausing our operations immediately in the region. We will be making decisions about the future of our work soon,” said Erin Gore, CEO of the US-based organization.

WCK confirmed that seven of its workers were killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike on a convoy of trucks delivering food in Deir al-Balah in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Israel Defense Forces said it is investigating the incident.

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“The IDF is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident,” the IDF said. “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.”

According to WCK, the workers were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, one dual US-Canadian citizen, and one Palestinian.

UK summons Israeli ambassador over Gaza strike killing aid workers

The United Kingdom has taken a firm stance following the tragic killing of World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza, including three British nationals, summoning the Israeli ambassador to London for a decisive discussion, CNN reported.

British Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, summoned the Israel’s ambassador to set out the government’s “unequivocal condemnation of the appalling killing of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including three British nationals,” he said in a Foreign Office press release.

“I requested a quick and transparent investigation, shared with the international community, and full accountability,” Mitchell said, adding, “I reiterated the need for Israel to put in place an effective deconfliction mechanism immediately and urgently to scale up humanitarian access. We need to see an immediate humanitarian pause, to get aid in and the hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable ceasefire,” as reported by CNN.

Earlier reports revealed that seven members of the World Central Kitchen team were killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza, prompting the organisation to halt its operations in the region with immediate effect.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret over the incident, acknowledging that the military “unintentionally struck innocent people.” The Israel Defence Forces have pledged to conduct an investigation “at the highest levels” in response to the tragic event.

A US-Canadian dual citizen was among the casualties of the strike, confirmed by a US official, adding to the international outcry over the loss of life, according to CNN.

Experts analysing the aftermath of the airstrike have raised concerns about the nature of the attack. Chris Cobb-Smith, an explosive weapons expert, suggested that the heavy damage inflicted on the vehicles, as depicted in video and images from the scene, was consistent with the use of “highly accurate drone-fired missiles.” He emphasised the significant level of destruction witnessed and expressed scepticism about the incident being accidental.

Cobb-Smith’s observations were supported by Patrick Senft, a research coordinator at Armament Research Services (ARES), who noted that the aftermath of the strike appeared to align with the deployment of munitions by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

“Without munition fragments, I can’t say anything for certain, but the damage to the vehicles appears consistent with precision-guided munitions with a small explosive payload,” Senft said, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft struck 25 terror targets across Gaza in the last day, including weapons warehouses, and other terror infrastructure.

In Khan Yunis, soldiers eliminated terrorists and destroyed warehouses of Hamas military equipment.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.

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