Israel expresses 'sorrow' for deadly airstrike on foreign aid workers in Gaza

People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 2, 2024.
People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana
Copyright AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana
By Euronews with AP
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Israeli airstrikes killed humanitarians delivering food into the West Bank, according to verified footage.

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Israel's military has expressed “sincere sorrow” after seven foreign aid workers were killed in an airstrike, though it stopped short of accepting responsibility.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a video statement on Tuesday that a probe will be opened to examine the "serious incident."

He added that as a "professional military" the IDF respects "international law" and they are now "committed to examining" their "operations thoroughly and transparently".

It comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged on Tuesday that Israeli forces had carried out the "unintended strike” in the Gaza Strip that killed workers with World Central Kitchen. 

Israeli officials would do "everything for this not to happen again," he added. 

Those killed late on Monday included three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen and a Palestinian, according to hospital records.

Their deaths led World Central Kitchen to suspend delivery on Tuesday of vital food aid to Gaza, where Israel’s offensive has pushed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the brink of starvation.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the death of 44-year-old aid worker Zomi Frankcom from Melbourne was "unacceptable" and requested "full accountability" from Israel's defence ministry.

Palestinian Red Crescent paramedic Mahmoud Thabet said the workers were in a convoy crossing out of northern Gaza when an Israeli missile hit. 

Thabet said he was told by WCK staff the team had been in the north coordinating the distribution of the newly arrived aid and was heading back to Rafah in the south.

European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said she expressed her "deepest condolences" to the aid workers' family and friends.

Spanish celebrity chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen. 

Speaking in Jordan, where he was visiting the Jabal Al-Hussein Palestinian refugee camp, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed regret at the aid workers' deaths. 

He called for the Israeli government to clarify the circumstances of the tragedy as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Israel's military withdrew from Gaza’s main hospital Al-Shifa after a two-week raid on Monday, claiming it killed 200 militants and detained hundreds more.

Palestinians who returned to the medical centre said they found buildings heavily burned and damaged. Israel blamed Hamas for the destruction.

The United Nations is planning a mission to the facility to help Palestinians receive medical attention and assess the state of the hospital after the assault. 

Roughly two dozen patients died after Israel’s siege began on March 18, according to World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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