US urges Israel to investigate after Gaza air strike kills seven aid workers

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The US National Security Council has urged Israel to investigate after seven members of the humanitarian organisation World Central Kitchen were killed in an air strike in Gaza on Monday night.

The organisation said in a statement on Tuesday that seven people had died in what it said was a strike by the Israel Defense Forces. The staff were travelling in several vehicles when the convoy was hit after leaving an aid warehouse, the organisation said.

The dead included staff from Australia, Poland, the UK and Palestine, as well as a dual US-Canadian citizen, the organisation said.

Erin Gore, World Food Kitchen’s chief executive, said the incident was “an attack on humanitarian organizations” and “unforgivable”.

“We — World Central Kitchen and the world — lost beautiful lives today because of a targeted attack by the IDF,” she said.

The IDF said it was “conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident”.

“The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with WCK in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,” it said in a statement.

NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson wrote in a post on X: “We are heartbroken and deeply troubled by the strike that that [sic] killed @WCKitchen aid workers in Gaza. Humanitarian aid workers must be protected as they deliver aid that is desperately needed, and we urge Israel to swiftly investigate what happened.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that an Australian national named Zomi Frankcom was among those killed in the strike.

“Australia expects full accountability for the deaths of aid workers, which is completely unacceptable,” Albanese said on Tuesday. “Aid workers, and those doing humanitarian work, and indeed all innocent civilians, need to be provided with protection.”

World Food Kitchen was founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, who earlier said in a post on X that the organisation had “lost several of our sisters and brothers in an IDF air strike in Gaza”.

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