Bodies of foreign aid workers killed in Israeli strike to be repatriated


dead bodies of six foreign aid workers killed in Gaza They were expected to be taken out of the war-torn Palestinian territory on Wednesday as Israel faced an outcry over their deaths.
Seven employees of the US-based food charity World Central Kitchen were killed in the Israeli bombing on Monday, which UN chief Antonio Guterres described as “unconscionable” and “an inevitable consequence of the way the war is being conducted”.
Marwan al-Hams, director of the city's Abu Youssef al-Najjar hospital, said the remains of the six international staff, who were killed along with a Palestinian colleague, would be flown out of Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt.
Herzi Halevi, head of Israel's armed forces, called the attack a “serious mistake”, which he attributed to “mistaken identification” during the night, saying in a video message that “we are to blame for the unintentional harm caused to members of the WCK.” have regret”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier promised that the “tragic case” would be investigated “to the end.”
The seven deaths put more pressure on Israel, whose war since an October 7 Hamas attack has caused devastation and massive civilian casualties in Gaza, where the United Nations has warned that its population of 2.4 million is on the brink of famine. .
US President Joe Biden said he was “outraged and saddened” by the deaths and accused Israel of “not taking adequate steps to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians”.
– 'Anger and Anxiety' –
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he had expressed his “anger and concern” in a phone call with Netanyahu, while Britain summoned the Israeli ambassador and demanded “full accountability”.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote to Netanyahu and Israel's ambassador to Israel, saying the deaths had strained relations and that “the tragic attack against volunteers and your response are causing an understandable anger”.
Pope Francis expressed his “deep sorrow” and reiterated his appeal for access to aid for Gaza's “exhausted and suffering civilian population” and for the release of hostages held by Hamas.
The charity said it was mourning the passing of seven of its “heroes” and “beautiful souls”. It said they were killed in a “targeted attack” that was launched despite the group coordinating its movements with Israeli forces.
The names of those killed in it have been mentioned as Palestinian Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha (25); Australian Lalzawmi (Zomi) Frankcom, 43; Britons John Chapman, 57, James (Jim) Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47; Pole Damian Sobol, 35; and US-Canadian Jacob Flickinger, 33.
Following his death, the charity suspended operations and a ship that had been carrying food aid from Cyprus to Gaza turned back towards the Mediterranean island with about 240 tonnes of supplies that had not been unloaded.
– Mass protests –
The bloodiest Gaza war to date began with Hamas' October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to a figure based on Israeli official figures.
Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 32,916 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.
The ministry said at least 60 people were killed in Israeli strikes overnight.
The army said its forces “killed and captured a number of militants” in fighting and airstrikes near al-Amal hospital in the southern city of Khan Yunis, where they also had several weapons.
Palestinian militants also captured about 250 hostages on October 7. Israel believes about 130 people remain in Gaza, of whom 34 are presumed dead.
Families of detainees have staged massive protests for four consecutive nights, sparking a resurgent anti-government movement.
Thousands gathered in front of parliament on Tuesday, with former Prime Minister Ehud Barak blaming Netanyahu for the October 7 “disaster” and demanding new elections.
Meanwhile, the Palestinians have revived their application to become a full member state at the United Nations.
In a letter to Guterres seen by AFP, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour requested “on the instructions of the Palestinian leadership” that a 2011 application be reconsidered by the Security Council this month.

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