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US, UK, Australia citizens killed in Israel strike on aid convoy in Gaza 

April 2, 2024 at 11:44 am

Australian Lalzawmi Frankcom (L) and Chef Oli (R), employees of the US-based international volunteer aid organisation World Central Kitchen (WCK), who were killed in an Israeli attack on their armoured vehicle in Gaza’s Deir Al-Balah, on 2 April 2024 [World Central Kitchen/Anadolu Agency]

Seven people working with World Central Kitchen (WCK) were killed after the two armoured vehicles they were travelling in – both branded with the charity’s logo – were targeted by an Israeli air strike on Gaza, the charity said.

“Despite coordinating movements with the IDF, the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route,” WCK said in a statement on its website.

“This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore.

The seven killed are from Australia, Poland, United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine.

It added that the Israeli army said it is “carrying out an in-depth examination at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

Seven workers of WCK killed were reported of Australian, Polish, British, US-Canadian, and Palestinian nationality [Omar Zaghloul – Anadolu Agency]

In a statement, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory Jamie McGoldrick said he was “extremely saddened and appalled” by Israel’s killing of the seven WCK personnel.

“This is not an isolated incident,” he added. “As of 20 March, at least 196 humanitarians had been killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since October 2023. This is nearly three times the death toll recorded in any single conflict in a year.”

“Since October 2023, the oPt has become one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places to work. There is no safe place left in Gaza.”

“This attack comes at a time of severe hardship and suffering in Gaza,” he continued, and WCK “provides desperately needed food assistance in Gaza where recent analysis has shown a risk of famine is imminent for the 2.2 million people of Gaza.”

Israel has repeatedly targeted aid shipments to Gaza, in an apparent effort to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the Strip and starve its population.

According to UN data, the daily average number of aid trucks entering Gaza dropped by more than a third in the weeks following provisional measures from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which ordered Israel to allow safe, unfettered humanitarian aid access.

READ: Israel sending more children ‘to their graves’ after denying food aid to northern Gaza