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Israel-Hamas war: British volunteer among seven aid workers killed in Gaza Strip | World News

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A British volunteer is among seven aid workers who have died after an airstrike in the Gaza Strip

Nationals from Poland and Australia were also killed, as well as a dual citizen of the US and Canada – and a Palestinian who was driving the car they were all travelling in.

Ismail al Thawabta, a spokesperson for a Hamas-run government office in Gaza, said Israel was responsible for their deaths.

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Aid airdropped over Gaza

The volunteers were employed by the World Central Kitchen, which provides food for displaced Palestinians.

In a statement, the charity said: “This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER.”

Its chief executive Erin Gore added: “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.”

Founder José Andres described the volunteers as “angels” who had served around the world – and said he was grieving for their families.

He added: “The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon.

“No more innocent lives lost. Peace starts with our shared humanity. It needs to start now.”

Despite coordinating movements with the Israel Defence Forces, the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al Balah warehouse, the charity said.

It added it was pausing its operations immediately in the region.

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

In a statement, a spokesperson added: “The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the family and friends of the Australian aid worker who died in the incident, who he named as Zomi Frankcom.

Mr Albanese said he has contacted the Israeli ambassador to ask for accountability over Ms Frankcom’s death.

A cargo ship transporting humanitarian aid for Gaza sails, as seen from Larnaca, Cyprus, March 30, 2024. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
A cargo ship transporting aid for Gaza from Cyprus. Pic: Reuters

Footage showed the bodies of those killed at al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al Balah. Several of them wore protective clothing marked with the charity’s logo.

The workers’ car was hit by an airstrike just after crossing from northern Gaza – and it is believed they were helping to deliver aid that had arrived hours earlier on a ship from Cyprus.

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Founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres in 2010, the World Central Kitchen said last month it had served more than 42 million meals in Gaza over 175 days.

Mr Andres described those who died as “several of our sisters and brothers” – and wrote on X: “These are people… angels… I served alongside in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas, Indonesia.

“They are not faceless… they are not nameless.”

The aid ships that arrived on Monday carried some 400 tons of food and supplies in a shipment organised by the United Arab Emirates and the World Central Kitchen.

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