Foreign aid workers killed in Gaza airstrike — reports

The World Central Kitchen said it was aware of reports that its staff members had been killed "in an IDF attack." The Isreal Defense Forces says it is "conducting a thorough review" after the incident

Aid ships have delivered much-needed food in northern and central Gaza (photo: DW)
Aid ships have delivered much-needed food in northern and central Gaza (photo: DW)


Officials from the Hamas-run Gaza media office said late on Monday that at least five aid workers from the humanitarian NGO, the World Central Kitchen (WCK), were killed in what they said was an Israeli airstrike.

The Reuters news agency cited a media office spokesperson as saying that the incident took place in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah and reported that the dead included citizens of Poland, Australia, the United Kingdom and a Palestinian.

World Central Kitchen 'aware of reports'

The WCK — which delivers food relief and prepared meals for those in need — released a short statement on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

"We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza. This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be a target. Ever."

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) meanwhile said in a statement that it was "conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

"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," the military statement said.

Australian foreign ministry 'urgently investigating'

Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese told the country's public broadcaster ABC that foreign ministry was "urgently investigating" the reports.

"I'm very concerned about the loss of life that is occurring in Gaza," he said. "My government has supported a sustainable cease-fire with calls for the release of hostages, and there have been far too many innocent lives of Palestinians and Israelis lost during the Gaza Hamas conflict."

The incident took place on the daya second shipment of food aid arrived by sea near Gaza in a flotilla organized by both the WCK and the Spanish group Open Arms.

The organizations shipped nearly 400 tons of food amid UN warnings that famine was imminent in the north of the Palestinian territory.

The war in Gaza was sparked after Hamas militants launched a large-scale terror attack in southern Israel on October 7 last year, in which 1,200 people were killed and some 250 hostages taken.

Israel's leadership vowed to destroy Hamas and a military offensive was launched.

The Health Ministry in Gaza says at least 32,845 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war, and a further 75,392 people have been wounded.

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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 9:53 AM