Three Britons among seven aid volunteers killed in 'targeted Israeli airstrike' in Gaza

Three Britons among seven aid volunteers killed in 'targeted Israeli airstrike' in Gaza

Watch: Prince William 'has divided opinion' on Gaza

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 02/04/2024

- 07:43

Updated: 02/04/2024

- 15:08

The aid agency's CEO said she was 'heartbroken and appalled' by the 'unforgivable' act

A team of volunteer aid workers - including three Britons who has not yet been named - have been killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

The group from World Central Kitchen (WCK), which comprised volunteers from the UK, US, Australia and Poland - as well as a Palestinian translator - had been travelling through the city of Deir al-Balah when their car was hit by a missile - "despite coordinating movements with the IDF", according to the agency.

WCK chief exec Erin Gore condemned the strike, saying: "This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.

"I am heartbroken and appalled that we - World Central Kitchen and the world - lost beautiful lives today because of a targeted attack by the IDF.

Medical personnel in Deir al-Balah

Images from Deir al-Balah in the immediate aftermath of the strike


"The love they had for feeding people, the determination they embodied to show that humanity rises above all, and the impact they made in countless lives will forever be remembered and cherished."

Foreign Secretary David Cameron called on Israel to "immediately investigate" the deaths, adding that the Government wanted "a full, transparent explanation of what happened".

Australia's PM Anthony Albanese also said that his government had requested an explanation from Israel of the incident which left 44-year-old Australian volunteer Lalzawmi "Zomi" Frankcom dead.

Albanese said: "This is someone who was volunteering overseas to provide aid through this charity for people who are suffering tremendous deprivation in Gaza. And this is just completely unacceptable.

"We want full accountability for this because this is a tragedy that should never have occurred."


Mourners in Deir al-Balah

Mourners were at the scene following the attack on the aid workers


A statement from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu read: "Unfortunately, in the last day there was a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip.

"It happens in war... We are checking it to the end, we are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again."

José Andrés, WCK's founder, said the organisation "lost several of our sisters and brothers in an IDF air strike in Gaza".

Andrés continued: "I am heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and our whole WCK family. These are people…angels… I served alongside in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas, Indonesia.

"They are not faceless…they are not nameless. The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon.

"No more innocent lives lost. Peace starts with our shared humanity. It needs to start now."

A WCK statement said it was pausing its operations in the region immediately, and it would soon be "making decisions about the future of our work".

The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said it was conducting a thorough review at the highest level to understand the circumstances of what it called a "tragic incident".

It continued: "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."

You may like