Middle East

UK Foreign Office summons Israeli ambassador over death of aid workers in Gaza

The UK Foreign Office said on Tuesday it summoned Israel's ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely, after seven aid workers with the World Central Kitchen nonprofit, including three UK nationals, were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.

London: The UK Foreign Office said on Tuesday it summoned Israel’s ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely, after seven aid workers with the World Central Kitchen nonprofit, including three UK nationals, were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.

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“Today, I summoned the Ambassador of the Israeli Embassy in London to the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office. I set out the government’s unequivocal condemnation of the appalling killing of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including three British nationals,” UK Minister of State for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell said in a statement.

The minister “requested a quick and transparent investigation,” which would be “shared with the international community,” and “full accountability” for the incident.

On Monday, WCK staff were travelling “in a deconflicted zone” in two armoured cars branded with the organisation’s logo and a soft-skinned vehicle, the NGO said. The humanitarian convoy was attacked as it left the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food aid brought to Gaza by sea. The organisation said that its convoy had coordinated its movements with the Israeli Defence Forces.

The Israeli strike against the staff of the WCK killed seven employees from Australia, Poland, the UK, and Palestine, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. The organisation suspended its operations in the Gaza Strip after the deadly incident.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israeli troops “unintentionally harmed non-combatants” in Gaza, adding that “this happens in war.” Israel has launched an investigation into the matter to prevent it from happening again, he said.

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