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Egypt calls for “an immediate, serious investigation” into deadly airstrike

Countries across the Middle East on Tuesday strongly condemned the killing of seven aid workers of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in an overnight Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry voiced “unequivocal denunciation of Israel’s continued targeting of humanitarian organizations” in Gaza.

Egypt calls for “an immediate, serious investigation to hold the responsible accountable for these systematic violations of Palestinian human rights, the full compliance with all UN Security Council resolutions regarding an immediate ceasefire, the safe and sustainable access to humanitarian aid, and the protection for all humanitarian relief workers,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the incident once again proved that Israel was still insisting on “imposing hunger, causing famine and killing in an organized and targeted manner” in Gaza.

Hamas, the Gaza-ruling Palestinian faction, condemned the targeting of the WCK convoy as a “heinous act” to create panic among aid workers over continuing their mission in Gaza.

Hamas said in a statement that the attack was “a policy of systematic killing against unarmed civilians, international relief teams, and humanitarian institutions.”

Hamas called on the international society to take action to put an end to the occupation’s “crimes and aggression against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.”

WCK said its team in Gaza was hit by “a targeted attack” by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) after leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse where they had unloaded food aid.

The team was targetted despite “traveling in a demilitarized zone in two armored cars bearing the organization’s logo” and coordination with the IDF, said the organization.

The Washington-headquartered non-profit organization, which is responsible for receiving maritime shipments of aid into Gaza, urged Israel to stop “this indiscriminate killing” in the Palestinian enclave while announcing the immediate pause of their operations there.

Israel on Tuesday assumed responsibility for the overnight attack and pledged to investigate the incident. The WCK confirmed that the slain staff members were from Palestine, Australia, Poland, Britain, and a dual-citizen of Canada and the United States.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said in a press statement that after several hours of difficult rescue work, its crews managed to recover the bodies of seven WCK employees.

“The seven bodies were transferred to hospitals in preparation for their evacuation via the Rafah border crossing” with Egypt, it added.

Famagusta Gazette