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Qatar tribune

Agencies

Gaza

An Israeli air raid has killed six international aid workers and a Palestinian driver.

The United States-based aid group, World Central Kitchen (WCK), confirmed on Tuesday that its staff members were killed in a “targeted attack” by the Israeli military. The dead were from Palestine, Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, as well as a US-Canada citizen.

WCK said the attack came as its staff were delivering food from its latest shipment to Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been pushed to the brink of famine by Israel’s offensive.

Footage showed the bodies of those killed at a hospital in the central town of Deir el-Balah. Several of them wore protective gear with the charity’s logo.

WCK said it was immediately suspending operations in the region. The strike marked a big setback to efforts to deliver aid by sea, a route that has been developed due to Israeli restrictions on access to Gaza, where experts say famine is imminent.

“The WCK team was travelling in a deconflicted zone in two armored cars branded with the WCK logo and a soft skin vehicle,” the charity said in a statement.

“Despite coordinating movements with the [Israeli army], the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route.”

Erin Gore, the CEO of the charity, said, “This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.”

“I am heartbroken and appalled that we - World Central Kitchen and the world - lost beautiful lives today because of a targeted attack by the IDF,” Gore added.

“The love they had for feeding people, the determination they embodied to show that humanity rises above all, and the impact they made in countless lives will forever be remembered and cherished.”

The bodies of the aid workers have been taken to a hospital in the southern city of Rafah on the Egyptian border. The foreigners’ bodies will be evacuated out of Gaza and the Palestinian driver’s body will be handed to his family in Rafah for burial.

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03/04/2024
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