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HomeGlobal NewsUS expresses ‘outrage’ over Israeli killing of humanitarian aid workers in Gaza

US expresses ‘outrage’ over Israeli killing of humanitarian aid workers in Gaza

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ISTANBUL

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant late Wednesday and expressed his “outrage” over this week’s attack on a humanitarian aid convoy from World Central Kitchen (WCK) that killed seven workers.

“Secretary Austin stressed the need to immediately take concrete steps to protect aid workers and Palestinian civilians in Gaza after repeated coordination failures with foreign aid groups,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Austin asked Gallant to carry out “a swift and transparent investigation, to share their conclusions publicly, and to hold those responsible to account.”

“Secretary Austin stated that this tragedy reinforced the expressed concern over a potential Israeli military operation in Rafah, specifically focusing on the need to ensure the evacuation of Palestinian civilians and the flow of humanitarian aid,” the statement added.

Describing the Israeli killing of seven volunteers in Gaza as a “tragedy,” the statement said the incident complicates efforts to increase the provision of humanitarian aid.

“Secretary Austin also raised the need to see a rapid increase of aid coming through all crossings in the coming days, particularly to communities in northern Gaza that are at risk of famine,” the press release said.

The workers killed in Monday’s strikes were nationals of Australia, Poland, the UK, and Palestine, as well as a US-Canadian dual citizen.

Despite coordinating movements with the Israeli army, the humanitarian organization said the convoy was hit as it was leaving a warehouse in the southern Gaza city of Deir al-Balah, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid.

Israel has killed nearly 33,000 Palestinians since the Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas which claimed 1,200 lives. The onslaught has also led to mass destruction, displacement and conditions of famine in the besieged enclave.

The WCK on Thursday called on Australia, Canada, the US, Poland, and the UK to demand an independent, third-party investigation into the attack.

Source: AA

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