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Israel Takes Responsibility for Strike that Killed 7 Aid Workers: Live Updates

Seven help employees with World Central Kitchen had been killed within the Gaza Strip when their convoy got here below fireplace on Monday night time, in accordance with the help group and Gazan well being officers.

The catastrophe reduction group, based by the Spanish chef José Andrés, stated the convoy was hit in an Israeli strike. In a press release following the assault, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel referred to a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting harmless individuals.” He stated Israel was in contact with overseas governments over the episode.

Right here’s what we all know.

The convoy of three automobiles had simply left a meals warehouse.

The World Central Kitchen workers members had been leaving a warehouse in Deir al Balah, a metropolis within the central Gaza Strip, when their convoy — two armored automobiles and a 3rd automobile — got here below fireplace late Monday, the group stated in a press release.

The Israeli army had been knowledgeable of the help employees’ actions, the charity stated. Support employees had simply unloaded greater than 100 tons of meals dropped at Gaza by sea on the warehouse, in accordance with the group.

Movies and photographs verified by The New York Instances counsel the convoy was hit a number of instances. The imagery reveals three destroyed white automobiles, with the northernmost and southernmost automobiles practically a mile and a half aside.

The World Central Kitchen brand might be seen on objects contained in the charred interiors of the northernmost and southernmost automobiles. The automotive within the center was left with a gaping gap in its roof, which was clearly marked with the group’s brand. All three automobiles, although far aside from one another, had been on or close to the Al-Rashid coastal street.

It remained unclear on Tuesday morning what kind of munition struck the automobiles and whether or not these explosives had been launched from the bottom, a warplane or a drone.

Six overseas residents and a Palestinian had been killed.

World Central Kitchen stated a type of killed was a twin citizen of the US and Canada, whereas the others had been from Australia, Britain, Gaza and Poland. In a submit with the victims’ names and ages on the group’s website, its chief government, Erin Gore, stated “We’re reeling from our loss.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia recognized one of many victims as Zomi Frankcom, an Australian citizen and a senior supervisor at World Central Kitchen. “The tributes flowing for Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom inform the story of a life devoted to the service of others, together with her fellow Australians throughout pure disasters,” Penny Wong, the nation’s overseas minister, stated on social media.

Damian Sobol, an help employee from the southeastern Polish metropolis of Przemysl, died within the assault, in accordance with town’s mayor, Wojciech Bakun. “There are not any phrases to explain what individuals who knew this implausible man really feel at this second,” he stated in a submit on social media.

Zomi Frankcom in March.Credit score…World Central Kitchen, by way of Reuters
Damian Sobol, proper, in an undated picture.Credit score…Free Place Basis, by way of Related Press

David Cameron, the British overseas secretary, said on social media that three of the help employees who had been killed had been British residents. The BBC reported their names: John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby. Native British media retailers described Mr. Chapman and Mr. Henderson as former Royal Marines who later turned to volunteer work.

Jacob Flickinger, who additionally died within the assault, was a 33-year-old twin citizen of the US and Canada, in accordance with the World Central Kitchen, and labored on the group’s reduction staff.

Palestinian medics retrieved the our bodies of the seven victims and took them to a hospital in Deir al Balah, in accordance with the Palestine Pink Crescent Society. The our bodies of the foreigners had been to be taken out of Gaza into Egypt, the group stated.

Saif Abutaha, a 25-year-old Gazan working as a driver and translator for World Central Kitchen, additionally died within the assault. Mr. Abutaha was an enterprising younger man who labored in his father’s enterprise and spoke good English, his brother Shadi stated.

Mr. Abutaha and different World Central Kitchen employees had been thrilled to have the chance to unload the desperately wanted meals help. “They had been so excited, like they had been going to a marriage,” his brother stated. It was the final time he noticed him.

Mr. Cameron stated on social media that “it’s important that humanitarian employees are protected and capable of perform their work.” He known as on Israel “to instantly examine and supply a full, clear rationalization of what occurred.”

Not less than 196 help employees had been killed in Gaza and the West Financial institution between October 2023 and late March, in accordance with Jamie McGoldrick, a senior U.N. reduction official. “This isn’t an remoted incident,” he stated, later including: “There isn’t any secure place left in Gaza.”

World Central Kitchen employees gathering across the our bodies of their colleagues after they had been transferred to Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah on Tuesday.Credit score…Haitham Imad/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

The prime minister appeared to take duty for the ‘unintentional’ assault.

In a video assertion on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel referred to a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally harming harmless individuals within the Gaza Strip.” Mr. Netanyahu didn’t identify World Central Kitchen in his remarks.

However an Israeli official conversant in the matter, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the strike was nonetheless below investigation, clarified that the prime minister was referring to the strike.

“It occurs in conflict, we’re absolutely analyzing this, we’re in touch with the governments, and we’ll do every thing in order that this factor doesn’t occur once more,” Mr. Netanyahu stated.

An Israeli army official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate an inside investigation, stated the army had concluded it was chargeable for the strike on the convoy. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Israeli army chief of workers, is predicted to evaluate findings of an preliminary inquiry into the incident on Tuesday night, the official stated.

A spokesman for Israel’s army, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, stated the investigation had been referred to the Truth Discovering and Evaluation Mechanism, a army physique tasked with investigating accusations and looking out into the circumstances behind battlefield episodes. “We can be opening a probe to look at this critical incident additional,” he stated. “It will assist us cut back the danger of such an occasion from occurring once more.”

United Nations members inspecting one of many destroyed World Central Kitchen automobiles on Tuesday.Credit score…Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

The Israeli army stated the mechanism was an “unbiased, skilled and skilled physique.” Human rights teams have usually been vital of the Israeli army’s potential to transparently examine itself, charging that inquiries are sometimes lengthy and barely result in indictments.

The World Central Kitchen help ship is headed again to Cyprus.

On the time of the strike, employees had unloaded 100 tons of help from the Jennifer, a World Central Kitchen vessel that had left the Cypriot port of Larnaca final weekend and arrived in Gaza on Monday. One other 240 tons had been to be unloaded on Tuesday, in accordance with Theodoros Gotsis, a spokesman for the Cypriot overseas ministry.

Mr. Gotsis stated that the Jennifer as a substitute left Gaza to sail again to Larnaca on Tuesday. He added that a number of extra tons of help had been ready at warehouses in Larnaca, however that it was not clear when and whether or not a mission to ship them would happen.

Patrick Kingsley, Rawan Sheikh Ahmad, Gabby Sobelman, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Lauren Leatherby, Nader Ibrahim and Kim Severson contributed reporting to this text.

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