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Several' aid workers killed in Israeli strike in Gaza: NGO leader

Washington, United States | April 2, 2024, Tuesday @ 07:01 in World » GENERAL | By: AFP | Views: 2260
Several' aid workers killed in Israeli strike in Gaza: NGO leader

A Palestinian child cries as the victims of an Israeli bombardment are brought to the al-Najjar hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 1, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)

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Several people working for US-based charity World Central Kitchen were killed Monday in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, according to the organisation's founder.

World Central Kitchen "lost several of our sisters and brothers in an IDF air strike in Gaza. I am heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and our whole WCK family," chef Jose Andres posted on social media site X.

Earlier, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory had said the bodies of four foreign aid workers and their Palestinian driver were brought to the hospital in central Gaza's Deir el-Balah after an Israeli strike targeted their vehicle.

Hamas said in a statement that the aid workers included "British, Australian and Polish nationalities, with the fourth nationality not known", and that the fifth person killed was a Palestinian driver and translator.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it was "conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident", adding that it had been "working closely with WCK" in the effort to provide aid to Palestinians.

At the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah, an AFP correspondent saw five bodies with three foreign passports lying nearby.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was "urgently seeking to confirm reports that an Australian aid worker has died in Gaza. These reports are very distressing."

World Central Kitchen has been involved in delivering the aid arriving by boat from Cyprus, and in the construction of a temporary jetty in Gaza.

Since Hamas's October 7 attack, Gaza has been under a near-complete blockade, with the United Nations accusing Israel of preventing deliveries of humanitarian aid urgently needed by 2.4 million Palestinians.

UN agencies have warned repeatedly that northern Gaza is on the verge of famine, calling the situation a man-made crisis because aid lorries are backed up on the Egypt-Gaza border awaiting long checks by Israeli officials. Israel has denied responsibility.

Two charities have organised aid deliveries by sea from Cyprus, with the second flotilla, setting sail Saturday with around 400 tonnes of supplies, a fraction of Gaza's needs.

Hamas's October 7 attack resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,845 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

© Agence France-Presse


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