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Aid workers killed in airstrike in Gaza

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Five employees of the Spanish aid organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) were killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reported.

Aid workers from Poland, Australia, Ireland and Britain were among the victims of the attack on a vehicle south of Deir al-Balah in the centre of the sealed-off coastal strip, the Times of Israel reported.

“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,” WCK posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER,” the aid organization wrote.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a Telegram post on Monday night it was investigating the reports.

“Following the reports regarding the World Central Kitchen personnel in Gaza today, the IDF is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident,” the IDF wrote.

“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 continued.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Tuesday confirmed that one of the aid workers killed was an Australian national, saying Canberra was demanding “full accountability” for the death.

“Those doing humanitarian work and all innocent civilians need to be provided with protection,” Albanese said during a visit to Queensland. “Australia has had a very clear position of supporting a sustainable ceasefire.”

Albanese said that Australia’ Foreign Affairs Ministry “has requested a call-in from the Israeli ambassador as well. We want full accountability for this, because this is a tragedy that should never have occurred.”

“The truth is this is beyond any reasonable circumstances,” Albanese added.

WCK has been involved in aid deliveries for Gaza, which have been reaching the war zone by sea from Cyprus since March. The organization has also taken over the distribution of aid to the people in the strip.

The Gaza war was triggered by the unprecedented massacre with more than 1,200 deaths that militants from the Palestinian Hamas movement and other Islamist groups carried out in Israel on October 7.

Israel responded with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive. In view of the high number of civilian casualties and the catastrophic situation in the Gaza Strip, Israel has come in for increasing criticism internationally.

Bodies of the deceased officials of the US-based international volunteer aid organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), can be seen on the ground following an Israeli attack on a WCK vehicle in Deir Al-Balah. Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Bodies of the deceased officials of the US-based international volunteer aid organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), can be seen on the ground following an Israeli attack on a WCK vehicle in Deir Al-Balah. Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

A person holds the passports belonging to deceased officials of the US-based international volunteer aid organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), following an Israeli attack on a WCK vehicle in Deir Al-Balah. Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

A person holds the passports belonging to deceased officials of the US-based international volunteer aid organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), following an Israeli attack on a WCK vehicle in Deir Al-Balah. Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

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