UN launches probe into first international staff killed by unidentified strike in Rafah

May15,2024



New Delhi: The United Nations have launched a Investigation In an unknown attack on a UN car Refa The first death occurred on Monday international staff in Gaza since October 7, a spokesman for the UN Secretary-General said.
Staff member, one retired Indian Army The officer, identified as Vaibhav Anil Kale, was working with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and was on his way to the European hospital in Rafah along with a colleague who was injured in the attack.
Israel is advancing deeper into Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than a million people have sought refuge, and its forces struck the north of the enclave on Tuesday in the deadliest attacks in months.
Israel's international allies and aid groups have repeatedly warned against ground incursions into Rafah, where many Palestinians have fled, and Israel says four Hamas battalions are holed up. Israel says it will have to root out the remaining fighters.
In a statement on Monday following Kale's death, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his “urgent appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of all hostages”, adding that the conflict in Gaza is taking a heavy toll not only on civilians but . , but also on humanitarian workers”.
Palestinian health officials say Israel's ground and air campaign in Gaza since October 7 has killed more than 35,000 people and driven most of the enclave's 2.3 million people from their homes.
His deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Tuesday that the United Nations had set up a fact-finding panel to determine responsibility for the attack.
“The investigation is still in its very early stages and details of the incident are still being confirmed with the Israel Defense Forces,” he said.
There are currently 71 international United Nations staff members in Gaza, he said.
In its only comment on the matter, India's mission to the UN on Tuesday confirmed Kale's identity, and said it was “deeply saddened” by his loss.
Israel, which launched its Gaza campaign on October 7 after an attack by Hamas-led gunmen that killed nearly 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostage, according to its figures, has released civilians from Rafah. Orders have been given to evacuate some parts.
UNRWA, the main UN aid agency in Gaza, estimates that about 450,000 people have fled the city since May 6. More than one million civilians had sought refuge there.



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