Bodies of six foreign aid workers killed in Israeli airstrike moved out of Gaza

Palestinians inspect a vehicle with the logo of the World Central Kitchen wrecked by an Israeli airstrike in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 2, 2024.
Palestinians inspect a vehicle with the logo of the World Central Kitchen wrecked by an Israeli airstrike in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Copyright Ismael Abu Dayyah/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Ismael Abu Dayyah/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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Seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen were killed on Monday in an Israeli airstrike as they delivered food to Gaza.

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The bodies of six foreign aid workers killed in a series of Israeli strikes were transported out of the Gaza Strip and into Egypt on Wednesday ahead of their repatriation, Egypt's state-run Qahera TV reported.

The three British citizens, a Polish citizen, an Australian and a Canadian American dual citizen worked for World Central Kitchen, an international charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés. 

Their Palestinian driver was also killed, and his remains were handed over to his family for burial in Gaza.

The group were distributing food brought into Gaza through a newly established maritime corridor late Monday when Israeli strikes hit their three vehicles, killing everyone inside.

The incident has threatened to set back efforts by the US and other countries to deliver aid to Gaza, as a ship laden with some 240 tons of aid from World Central Kitchen turned back from Gaza just a day after arriving from Cyprus.

Deaths spark worldwide condemnation

Some of Israel's closest allies, including the United States, have condemned the deaths of the seven aid workers.

President Joe Biden issued an unusually blunt criticism of Israel suggesting the incident demonstrated Israel was not doing enough to protect civilians.

“Incidents like yesterday’s simply should not happen,” he added. "The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties.”

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said that the incident has strained ties between the two countries.

Speaking at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron called for an urgent inquiry into the incident. 

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Israel must answer how the aid vehicles were targeted. 

Israeli military claims aid workers were 'misidentified'

Israel's military chief, Lt. General Herzi Halevi, announced the results of a preliminary investigation into the incident early Wednesday.

“It was a mistake that followed a misidentification“ at night during a war in very complex conditions. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said. 

Halevi added that an independent body would conduct a “thorough investigation” to be completed in the coming days.

World Central Kitchen has insisted it coordinated with the Israeli military over the movement of its cars. Three vehicles moving at large distances apart were hit in succession. 

The damage done to the cars indicates they were hit by multiple, targeted strikes. 

At least one of the vehicles had the charity’s logo printed across its roof to make it identifiable from the air, and the ordnance punched a large hole through the roof. 

Footage of the bodies at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah shows several of them wearing the charity’s logo.

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