Netanyahu admits ‘unintended airstrike’ killed 3 Brit aid workers & says ‘it happens in war’ as food ships are halted

ISRAEL has admitted its “unintentional” airstrike killed three Brits alongside three other aid workers after blasting a convoy of cars in Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu said “This happens in war”, as some ships carrying food to the besieged Strip have been turned around.

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Clothes of members of the World Central Kitchen are seen inside their destroyed car along Al Rashid roadCredit: EPA
The burnt-out wreckage of World Central Kitchen's car

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The burnt-out wreckage of World Central Kitchen’s carCredit: EPA
A hole in the top of the charity's car

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A hole in the top of the charity’s carCredit: EPA
Blood-stained British, Polish, and Australian passports were found after the airstrike

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Blood-stained British, Polish, and Australian passports were found after the airstrikeCredit: AP
Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom was confirmed dead by her government in Canberra

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Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom was confirmed dead by her government in CanberraCredit: World Central Kitchen

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Six aid workers from the UK, Australia, and Poland, dual citizens of the US and Canada, and their Palestinian driver were killed while travelling in a deconflicted zone, charity World Central Kitchen said.

Three UK nationals are among those to be confirmed dead by the aid organisation.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today said his troops “unintentionally” hit them – and insisted measures will be taken to stop this happening again.

Ships carrying over 200 tonnes of aid to Gaza have been halted in their journey after WCF suspended operations in the war zone, Cyprus’ foreign ministry said.

Netanyahu said in a video address today: “Unfortunately, in the last day there was a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip.

“This happens in wartime. We are thoroughly looking into it, are in contact with the governments (of the foreigners among the dead) and will do everything to ensure it does not happen again.”

The volunteers were in two armoured cars branded with the WCK logo after unloading more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian food aid at a warehouse in Deir al-Balah were they were hit on Monday.

Shocking footage showed the victims’ bodies, several wearing protective gear with the charity’s logo on, at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

Haunting images show bloodied passports of some of the victims – among them a British one – found among the debris.

Charred WCK uniforms were also found in the car wreckage.

The international food charity immediately suspended its operations in the region.

Aftermath of Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital raid seen for the first time with bodies left to rot after IDF troops withdraw

Three aid ships arrived from Cyprus on Monday carrying supplies, organised by the charity and the UAE.

The charity’s team had unloaded around 100 tonnes before the blast – but the remaining 240 tonnes will now be sent back, Cypriot foreign ministry spokesman Theodoros Gotsis said.

WCK chief executive Erin Gore said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom was named as one of the seven killed.

Earlier the charity said: “This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be a target. Ever.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the IDF had “expressed the deepest condolences” to the families of those killed.

Volunteers from World Central Kitchen were killed in the strike

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Volunteers from World Central Kitchen were killed in the strike
Paramedics at the scene following the blast

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Paramedics at the scene following the blast

He said: “Last night, an incident took place in Gaza that resulted in the tragic death of World Central Kitchen employees as they fulfilled their vital mission of bringing food to people in need.

“As a professional military committed to international law, we are committed to examining our operations thoroughly and transparently.

“I just spoke to WCK founder chef Jose Anders and expressed the deepest condolences of the Israel Defence Forces to the families and the entire World Central Kitchen family.

“We also express sincere sorrow to our allied nations who have been doing and continue to do so much to assist those in need.”

The UK’s foreign secretary David Cameron has called on Israel to “immediately investigate” the incident.

And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he is “shocked and saddened” by the death of a British aid worker in Gaza, saying “clearly there are questions that need to be answered”.

On Monday, the IDF said: “Following the reports regarding the World Central Kitchen personnel in Gaza today, the IDF is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.

“The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with World Central Kitchen in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.”

The Sun’s Defence Editor’s analysis of the Middle East tinderbox

By Jerome Starkey, The Sun’s Defence Editor

FEARS that the Middle East could explode into all-out war are ratcheting up today after Iran vowed vengeance for a deadly Israeli missile strike on its embassy in Damascus, the capital of Syria.

At least 11 people were killed when a consular annex was reduced to rubble by strikes which Iran says were carried out by Israeli F-35 fighter jets.

Now among those 11 killed were two top Iranian generals, Brigadier Mohammed Reza Zahidi, who we understand commanded Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, and Brigadier Mohammed Haji Rahimi.

Also among the dead is a representative of the Hezbollah terrorist group Hussein Yusuf.

Both Iran and Hezbollah have vowed vengeance, with Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi saying this strike will not go unanswered.

The suggestion is that perhaps Israel has crossed a threshold with a strike on an embassy.

Embassies are sovereign soil of the nations they belong to, so this was a strike on sovereign Iranian soil in Syria and in one sense it is an escalation and the concerns that this could spiral out are in many ways well founded.

Interestingly today we’ve heard reports in the local media in Syria and in the region that America appears to be distancing itself from this strike, officials saying they had no advanced knowledge.

It would appear that the reason for this missile strike was the meeting between these Revolutionary Guard commanders and the representatives of Hezbollah.

We will now have to wait and see how Iran chooses to take its revenge.

Now of course, if you are an Israeli diplomat living abroad, then you may well think that you are now more of a target.

Because Israel has targeted an Iranian embassy, we may expect to see the possibility that Itan may target Israeli diplomats or missions around the world.

And we have just seen, in the last few days suspected Iranian agents attacking an Iranian journalist here in London.

Tehran is showing, perhaps by this stabbing that it maintains the ability and the capability to attack people it sees as critical of the regime enemies of the regime around the world.

Some context that we understand that Tehran employs criminal proxies to carry out that sort of dirty work doesn’t necessarily have the same sort of sophisticated overseas operations that we might expect of other hostile actors like Russia.

But nonetheless, I think in the wake of what happened in Damascus on Monday, combined with what’s been happening across the region in recent months, there is concern and anxiety to see how Iran responds and what that will elicit from Israel.

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