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Canada condemns Israeli strike on aid workers in Gaza, demands investigation

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 02 Apr, 2024 09:53 AM
  • Canada condemns Israeli strike on aid workers in Gaza, demands investigation

Canada condemned an Israeli airstrike that killed seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip on Monday and is demanding a full investigation.

The World Central Kitchen said a dual Canadian-American citizen, as well as three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national and a Palestinian were delivering food that had arrived by sea when they were struck Monday evening. 

The charity suspended operations in the region following the attack. World Central Kitchen was founded by celebrity chef José Andrés and operates in several countries wracked by wars or natural disasters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that the Israel Defense Forces carried out the "unintended strike," which killed "innocent people."

He said officials are investigating and "will do everything for this not to happen again."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the attack on aid workers is "absolutely unacceptable."

"This is something that never should have happened, and we are heartbroken for the families and for the organization that has been putting people in harm's way to counter the extraordinarily devastating humanitarian crisis going on in Gaza right now," he said.

"We obviously need full accountability and investigation in this."

Trudeau said there needs to be "clarity" about how it happened and repeated a call for a ceasefire "so more aid workers are not in danger as they try to respond to the suffering on the ground in Gaza."

Earlier in a statement posted to X, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said she was "horrified" by the airstrike.

"We condemn these strikes and call for a full investigation," she posted. "Canada expects full accountability for these killings and we will convey this to the Israeli government directly."

World Central Kitchen's work was key to a recently opened sea route that offered some hope for northern Gaza. 

The United Nations says much of the area's population is on the brink of starvation, largely cut off from the rest of the territory by Israeli forces.

Andrés said he is "heartbroken" by the deaths of his colleagues.

"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," he wrote on X.

Cyprus, which has played a key role in trying to establish the sea route to bring food to the territory, said ships that recently arrived were turning back with some 240 tons of undelivered aid.

Footage of the airstrike showed the workers' bodies, several wearing protective gear with the charity’s logo, at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada also called for accountability.

"Yesterday's inadvertent Israeli airstrike on a civilian aid convoy in Gaza killing a Canadian citizen is deeply regrettable," the organization said in a statement. 

"The Israeli government must carry out a thorough investigation and hold those who made the error accountable. Humanitarian aid into Gaza is essential, as are Israel's efforts to destroy Hamas military capabilities. We express condolences to those who were killed."

 

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