Israel-Gaza latest: Biden says he’s ‘outraged and heartbroken’ as aid workers killed in strike are identified

2 weeks ago 11
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President Joe Biden said he was ‘outraged and hearbroken’ after the IDF airstrike killed seven aid workers, including a US-Canadian dual citizen

Israel's highest-ranking officer claims strike that killed three Brits was 'grave mistake'

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The seven aid workers who were killed in an airstrike in Gaza on Tuesday have been identified.

President Joe Biden said he was “outraged and hearbroken” after members of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) team — including US-Canadian dual citizen Jacob Flickinger —were killed by an IDF airstrike as they were returning from coordinating an aid shipment.

WCK is a charity that has been supplying food to starving Palestinians who are on the brink of famine amid Israel’s total war on the besieged strip.

The killings have prompted international condemnation.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly tweeted she was “horrified to hear reports of the IDF strike” and called for “full accountability for these killings.”

White House National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby said that the aid workers were in a marked aid convoy when the strike hit, adding that that it’s “clear” that the IDF “must do much more to improve deconfliction processes so that civilians and humanitarian aid workers are protected.”

Israel has pledged to conduct an independent investigation.

Flickinger was killed alongside Saifeddin Issam Ayab Abutaha of Palestine, Lalzawmi Frankcom of Australia, Damian Soból of Poland and UK citizens John Chapman, James Henderson, and James Kirby.


Labour: Government must suspend arms sales to Israel if it has breached international law

David Lammy has piled pressure on Lord Cameron to publish government advice on whether Israel is breaking international law, saying Britain must suspend arms sales to the country if so.

The shadow foreign secretary accused Lord Cameron of “going silent” after ignoring an initial request to publish the legal advice on 22 March.

And Mr Lammy called for Israel to face “serious consequences” over the killing of three British aid workers in Gaza.

The Labour MP said: “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of the three heroic Brits who put their lives on the line to get Palestinian civilians the aid they desperately need.

“The law is clear. British arms licences cannot be granted if there is a clear risk that the items might be used to commit or facilitate a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

“Labour’s message to the government is equally clear. Publish the legal advice now. If it says there is a clear risk that UK arms might be used in a serious breach of international humanitarian law, it’s time to suspend the sale of those arms. If David Cameron has received this advice, he must act on it.”

Holly Evans3 April 2024 15:33


Israel has betrayed allies like Britain, says former Tory foreign minister

My colleague Archie Mitchell reports:

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 14:00


Rachel Reeves calls government to publish any advice about exporting arms to Israel

The Government must urgently publish any advice it has received about exporting arms to Israel, Rachel Reeves has said.

Asked whether there was a case for the UK to halt arms exports, the shadow chancellor told reporters in London: “We have urged the Government to urgently publish any reports that they have on the abidance with international law.

“The international law is clear that where arms sales are at risk of being used for purposes not consistent with international law, they shouldn’t happen.

“That is why now we are asking the Government to urgently publish the evidence that they have.”

(Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 13:39


Family tributes for Israeli airstrike victims continue

Family members of James Kirby, one of the aid workers who was killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday, have said he was an “all-round gentleman” and that the seven people who died are “like heroes to us”.

Amy Roxburgh-Barry, Mr Kirby’s cousin, told Sky News: “He was just an all-round gentleman and even with children.

“He was amazing with my son, who unfortunately does not understand because he’s only young.

“It’s just devastating that he’s fought in these wars and come home with not a scratch, and then he goes out to do something helpful, and that’s what happens.”

Adam McGuire, Mr Kirby’s cousin, said: “Not only James but the six other individuals are like heroes to us. They went out there selflessly to help some of the most desperate people in the world.”

Ms Roxburgh-Barry recalled the last phone conversation with her cousin and said he had been planning a surprise cruise for his mother and aunt.

“He wanted to send my mum and my aunty on a cruise once he’d sold his house because they felt they both needed it.

“My aunty didn’t know, it was supposed to be a surprise. That was the conversation we had, and that’s what we were going to pick up on when he was back.”


Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 13:05


Family of British aid worker killed in Israeli airstrike will ‘forever be a hero’, his family say

The family of British aid worker John Chapman, who was killed in the Israeli air strike in Gaza, have said he will “forever be a hero”,

In a statement issued through the Foreign Office, the family of Mr Chapman, who was one of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in Gaza on Monday, said: “We are devastated to have lost John, who was killed in Gaza.

“He died trying to help people and was subject to an inhumane act. He was an incredible father, husband, son and brother.

“We request we be given space and time to grieve appropriately.

“He was loved by many and will forever be a hero. He will be missed dearly”.

(World Central Kitchen/ Wire)

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 12:49


The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg challenges John Kirby on deaths of seven foreign aid workers

Mr Feinberg questioned the White House national security spokesman during a press conference on Tuesday after he described the strike which killed the aid workers as a “possible mistake”.

Lucy Leeson reports:

The Independent challenges John Kirby on deaths of seven foreign aid workers

The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg has challenged John Kirby following the deaths of seven foreign aid workers in Gaza. Mr Feinberg questioned the White House national security spokesman during a press conference on Tuesday (2 April) after he described the strike which killed the aid workers as a “possible mistake”. Saifeddin Issam Ayab Abutaha, 25, of Palestine; Lalzawmi Frankcom, 43, of Australia; Damian Soból, 35, of Poland; Jacob Flickinger, 33, a US-Canadian dual citizen; along with UK citizens John Chapman, 57, James Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, died after the IDF struck their three-car convoy on Monday (1 April).

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 12:30


Sunak: ‘The situation in Gaza is increasingly intolerable’

Rishi Sunak told Benjamin Netanyahu the situation in Gaza is “increasingly intolerable” after Israeli forces killed three British aid workers.

The prime minister pressured the Israeli PM to ensure an “urgent” and “transparent” investigation takes place.

And Mr Sunak called for a “dramatic increase in the amount of aid getting into Gaza removing the barriers but also closer work with aid agencies to make sure things like this don’t happen again”.

The PM dodged a question about whether he backed calls to suspend arms sales to Israel. He told The Sun: “We’ve always had a very careful export licensing regime that we adhere to.

“There are a set of rules, regulations and procedures that will always follow, and I have been consistently clear with Prime Minister Netanyahu since the start of this conflict that while of course we defend Israel’s right to defend itself and its people against attacks from Hamas, they have to do that in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 12:12


How many aid workers have been killed in Gaza?

The death toll of aid workers in Gaza has risen to at least 196 after an Israeli airstrike killed seven members of charity World Central Kitchen on Monday.

It is not the first time Israel has been accused of bombing humanitarian aid convoys and distribution centres and of killing humanitarian aid workers.

Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s aid coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, said this was “not an isolated incident” and that Gaza was one of the most dangerous places on earth for humanitarian workers.

“As of 20 March, at least 196 humanitarians had been killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since October 2023. This is nearly three times the death toll recorded in any single conflict in a year,” he said in a statement.

“Since October 2023, the OPT has become one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places to work.”

World Central Kitchen staff load Open Arms boat with aid for Gaza

(World Central Kitchen)

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 12:06


Save the Children will ‘continue working around the clock’ in Gaza amid fears aid worker killings could halt charity operations

Aid workers with Save the Children will “continue working around the clock” in Gaza amid fears that the killing of World Central Kitchen workers could halt much-needed aid to the region.

Liz Bradshaw, senior conflict and humanitarian adviser at the charity, said the deaths of the World Central Kitchen aid workers were an “unspeakable tragedy” and part of a “horrendous trend” of attacks on aid workers.

“Our staff in Gaza are facing the same situation that all civilians are facing,” she said.

“Their safety and well-being are paramount considerations in all our operations and we are continuously assessing and mitigating risks to ensure that our team can carry out their work safely.

“While we are doing all we can to support them - including providing shelter, aid and basic supplies - what we really need to ensure their safety is a definitive ceasefire, now.

“Our team in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Gaza, continue working around the clock to find ways to deliver aid to children.

“Save the Children takes all possible measures to keep our staff safe while reaching children and families insofar as the access, including safety, restrictions allow. With attacks like these, that is getting harder.”

It comes as ships still laden with some 240 tons of aid turned back from Gaza just a day after arriving, according to Cyprus.

Israel has allowed only a trickle of food and supplies into Gaza’s devastated north, where experts say famine is imminent.

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 11:51


Biden 'outraged' by Israeli airstrike that killed aid workers in Gaza

US president Joe Biden said he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the Israeli airstrike in Gaza that killed seven aid workers and he called on Israel to do more to protect aid workers

In some of his strongest criticism of Israel to date, he said their investigation of the incident “must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public”.

“Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident,” he said. “This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed.”

He added that Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers or civilians in Gaza.

“The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties,” he said.


Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 11:46

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