Gaza crisis: Allies demand accountability after Israeli airstrike kills aid workers

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged on Tuesday that an Israeli airstrike mistakenly killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza, sparking demands for explanations from the U.S. and other allies amid global outcry. Israel's military expressed "sincere sorrow" for the incident, which intensified international calls for alleviating Gaza's dire humanitarian situation nearly six months into Israel's blockade and assault on the Palestinian territory.

Publication: 03.04.2024 - 15:16
Gaza crisis: Allies demand accountability after Israeli airstrike kills aid workers
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The airstrike, which claimed the lives of citizens from Australia, Britain, Poland, Palestine, and a dual U.S.-Canada citizen, occurred despite the aid convoy's visible identification and prior movement coordination with the Israeli military. Netanyahu, addressing the tragedy, committed to a thorough investigation to prevent future occurrences, while the Israeli military promised a review by an "independent, professional and expert body."

This incident adds to the toll of 196 humanitarian workers killed in Gaza since October, as reported by the United Nations, amid accusations from Hamas of Israel targeting aid sites. The killings drew sharp rebukes from international leaders, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who expressed their countries' horror and demanded transparent investigations.

The U.S., while noting the absence of evidence indicating deliberate targeting by Israel, voiced outrage and pledged to advocate for better protection of aid workers. Secretary of State Antony Blinken lauded the aid workers' heroism, emphasizing the unacceptable risks they face. Concurrently, the United Nations reiterated calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to address the looming famine threat in Gaza.

Israel maintains that its offensive, which has led to significant casualties and displacement, does not intentionally hinder food aid distribution, blaming logistical challenges. However, the attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy has been condemned as an attack on humanitarian efforts in conflict zones, prompting the charity to suspend its operations in Gaza. The incident has notably strained diplomatic relations, with countries traditionally supportive of Israel demanding measures to safeguard humanitarian workers amidst the ongoing conflict.

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