UAE slams Israel for killing of Gaza aid workers

The UAE held Israel “fully responsible” for this dangerous development, and called for an “urgent, independent and transparent” investigation, and punishment of those who have committed the “heinous crime”…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE has condemned in the strongest terms the Israeli occupation forces targeting of the World Central Kitchen team – the UAE’s partner in the Amalthea Initiative to strengthen the humanitarian response to civilians in northern Gaza – which resulted in the deaths and injuries of a number of humanitarian relief workers.

The UAE held Israel fully responsible for this dangerous development, and called for an urgent, independent and transparent investigation, and punishment of those who have committed this heinous crime in contravention of international humanitarian law.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) expressed its deep regret for the loss of life, and conveyed its sincere condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and their countries, as well as its wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.

The Ministry stressed the importance of an immediate ceasefire, and avoiding the targeting of civilians, organisations, civilian facilities, and relief organisations. It also urged to desist from imposing restrictions on humanitarian aid, and using food as a weapon, and to immediately provide protection to humanitarian relief personnel without delay.

World Central Kitchen said it was suspending its aid operations in Gaza after seven of its workers were killed overnight. “World Central Kitchen is pausing our operations immediately in the region. We will be making decisions about the future of our work soon,” said Erin Gore, CEO of the US-based organization.

WCK confirmed that seven of its workers were killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike on a convoy of trucks delivering food in Deir al-Balah in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The Israel Defence Forces said it is investigating the incident.

“The IDF is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident,” the IDF said. “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.”

According to WCK, the workers were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, one dual US-Canadian citizen, and one Palestinian.

Meanwhile, the UK has taken a firm stance following the incident summoning the Israeli ambassador to London for a decisive discussion, CNN reported.

British Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, summoned the Israel’s ambassador to set out the government’s “unequivocal condemnation of the appalling killing of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including three British nationals,” he said in a Foreign Office press release.

Israel president apologises

President of Israel Isaac Herzog spoke Tuesday evening with World Central Kitchen (WCK) founder Chef Jose Andres. Herzog expressed his “deep sorrow and sincere apologies” over the tragic deaths of Seven WCK staff in the Gaza Strip Monday night and sent his condolences to their families and loved ones.

The President reiterated Israel’s commitment to ensuring a thorough investigation of the tragedy, which occurred amidst the ongoing war against the terrorist organisation Hamas.

He also affirmed Israel’s commitment to delivering and upgrading humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, and said that efforts must continue to bring about the immediate release of all the hostages held by Hamas.

President Herzog thanked Chef Andres and the WCK for their commitment to the wellbeing of Israelis and Palestinians, and to the values of humanity

Meanwhile, Israeli aircraft struck 25 terror targets across Gaza in the last day, including weapons warehouses, and other terror infrastructure.

In Khan Yunis, soldiers eliminated terrorists and destroyed warehouses of Hamas military equipment.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the remaining 134 hostages, Israel recently declared 31 of them dead.

ALSO READ: UAE Lauds ICJ Measures on Gaza Aid

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