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Israeli military bombs foreign aid convoy

· 5 min read

Israeli military bombs foreign aid convoy

TEHRAN- An Israeli airstrike has killed at least half a dozen foreign nationals attempting to deliver life-saving aid to northern Gaza where large parts of the population are facing famine.

Israeli military bombs foreign aid convoy

The victims, who were all volunteers for the international charity, World Central Kitchen (WCK), have been identified as being nationals from Poland, Australia, Britain, and an American-Canadian citizen. 

The Associated Press has cited hospital records as saying those killed include three Britons, one Australian, one Polish, and an American-Canadian citizen. 

A Palestinian who was driving one of the vehicles they were traveling in has also perished. 

Following the deadly attack, WCK announced it was immediately pausing its operations in Gaza, leading to renewed accusations that the Israeli regime is deliberately targeting humanitarian workers in a bid to prevent vital aid from entering the besieged territory. 

In a statement, the international charity organization said the “WCK team was traveling in a deconflicted zone in two armored cars branded with the WCK logo and a soft skin vehicle.” 

The group revealed that despite coordinating its movements with the Israeli occupation forces, “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.” 

Medical officials also said the foreign nationals had been attempting to transfer food and other supplies to northern Gaza that had arrived hours earlier by ship. 

“This is not only an attack against WCK (World Central Kitchen), this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.” They are said to have traveled to the north and were returning to southern Gaza when they were attacked by an Israeli missile. 

Aid convoys trying to reach desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza have repeatedly been either forced to turn back by the Israeli military or simply stopped short of making the journey out of fear of being hit by Israeli fire.  

According to the United Nations, Israeli forces are blocking aid deliveries into famine-stricken northern Gaza despite recent strong demands from the International Court of Justice and the UN Security Council for unfettered access to life-saving food supplies into the enclave. 

The WCK chief executive Erin Gore said, “This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.” 

Paying tribute to the victims, Gore noted, “The love they had for feeding people, the determination they embodied to show that humanity rises above all, and the impact they made in countless lives will forever be remembered and cherished.” 

Global condemnation against the latest Israeli massacre, this time against foreign nationals, has also been pouring in. 

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says his government is demanding “full accountability” over the attack. 

“Dfat [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] has also requested a call-in from the Israeli ambassador as well. We want full accountability for this, this is a tragedy that should never have occurred.” 

Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, also said, “The Australian government condemns this strike. The government has made representations to the Netanyahu government and seeks a thorough and expeditious review. We expect full accountability for these deaths.” 

The Polish foreign ministry said, “Poland does not agree to the lack of compliance with international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers.” 

Poland’s Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, said he has demanded “urgent explanations” from the Israeli ambassador in Warsaw. 

The European Commission’s foreign affairs spokesperson said on Tuesday that “our appeal [to Israel] to respect these rules is part of the integral part of our position stressing the need to respect international humanitarian law.” 

The Norwegian Refugee Council shared its condolences, saying nowhere else are so many aid workers killed and called for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict. 

“We are mourning with our colleagues in WCK. 7 of their aid workers were killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza. WCK had informed (the Israeli military) of their movement. Nowhere else are so many aid workers killed. There must be an immediate ceasefire. Enough now.” 

The Kremlin also weighed in, saying the strike was an act of aggression. 

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such attacks violated all the foundations of international law. 

Six months of relentless Israeli bombings have turned the small Palestinian territory into the most dangerous place to deliver aid.  Israeli attacks have killed more than 200 aid workers, the majority of them Palestinians, making it the deadliest crisis for humanitarian workers. 

“Children are starving to death because Israel is preventing sufficient aid from entering by land, and now humanitarian workers are being killed while they try to deliver life-saving food that has been shipped in by sea”, a statement by Islamic Relief read. 

Aid workers will now grow even more increasingly wary about where and how they move in Gaza to avoid Israeli bombs. The people who will be impacted most by that will be the desperate Palestinians. 

According to UNRWA, the main UN humanitarian agency operating in Gaza, in March, a daily average of 159 aid trucks crossed into the enclave per day. 

Before the war, about 700 delivery trucks entered Gaza daily.