Employees from the NGO World Central Kitchen distribute food in the Gaza Strip — Photo: World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

The United Kingdom summoned the Israeli ambassador to London on Tuesday in response to the killing of World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza, including three British citizens. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the deaths were “completely unacceptable”.

British Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell summoned Israel’s ambassador to express the government’s “unequivocal condemnation of the horrific murder of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including three British citizens,” as stated in a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I called for a swift and transparent investigation, shared with the international community, and full accountability,” Mitchell said. “I reiterated the need for Israel to immediately and urgently implement an effective conflict resolution mechanism to increase humanitarian access. We need to see an immediate humanitarian pause, to get help and evacuate hostages, and then progress towards a sustainable ceasefire.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says “this happens in time of war,” and described it as “a tragic case of our forces unintentionally targeting innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” The Israel Defense Forces committed to investigating the attack “at the highest levels.”

Goal achieved

On Tuesday, World Central Kitchen announced that seven members of its staff were killed in an Israeli attack in Gaza and said it would immediately cease operations in the region.

The group was traveling in two armored vehicles marked with the logo of the charity World Central Kitchen (WCK). WCK said the dead were from the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland and Palestine, as well as a dual US-Canadian citizen. The charity said it was suspending operations in the Palestinian territory.

Israel said it plans to open a joint situation room with international groups to allow it to coordinate humanitarian aid. The WCK said on Monday in its statement on the attack that “despite coordination moves with the IDF (Israeli army), the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse.”

International repercussion

US President Joe Biden’s administration said it was in contact with José Andrés, who founded WCK. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US has also spoken directly to the Israeli government about the issue. “We demand a quick, complete and impartial investigation to understand exactly what happened,” he said in an indication that he needs more evidence of Israel’s criminal behavior.

National security spokesman John Kirby was asked why the US was not condemning the attack as Blinken, speaking at a news conference in Paris, did not do so while his French counterpart did. Kirby said there is still no evidence that the Israel Defense Forces deliberately killed aid workers in Gaza.

Hours before the Israeli attack on WCK workers on Monday, Reuters reported that the Biden administration was considering moving forward with an $18 billion arms transfer package to Israel.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said on Tuesday that his country “strongly condemned” the Israeli airstrike, which “nothing can justify”.

In Cyprus, visiting European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said “all resources” must be used to find out how an Israeli airstrike on a humanitarian convoy could have occurred. “We must use all our resources to get answers, to bring more relief,” the statement said.

The Maltese politician spoke after visiting the joint rescue and coordination center in Larnaca, the Cypriot port that has become the distribution point for aid dispatched via the recently opened sea route to Gaza. “Humanitarian organizations like World Central Kitchen must be protected,” he said.

Escorting Metsola, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides described the institution as a “crucial partner in sending necessary assistance” to the Palestinian territory.

“I express our sincere condolences to WCK and the countries that lost their citizens, and we call for an immediate and thorough investigation,” he said. “Last night’s tragic events prove once again that this is not a regional crisis of limited concern or impact. Its effects reverberate throughout the region.”

Christodoulides said that as the closest EU member state to the Middle East, Cyprus had a “moral obligation to alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza”, although he stressed that the maritime humanitarian corridor was not a substitute for incoming aid. to the besieged coastal strip via land routes or airdrops.

Top UN official Sigrid Kaag met with World Central Kitchen (WCK) staff just hours before they were killed, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. “Let the aid workers do their work,” Dujarric said of his message to the Israeli government.

The murder of the aid workers was summed up by United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric as “the inevitable result of the way this war is being conducted.”

The United Nations (UN) has again called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Palestinian militants from the Palestinian Armed Group, Dujarric said.

He added that at least 196 aid workers have been killed in Gaza in Israel’s current offensive into the Palestinian territory.

Source: vermelho.org.br

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