Rishi Sunak demands ‘transparent’ probe after UK aid workers killed in Gaza

PTI | London | Updated: 03-04-2024 20:19 IST | Created: 03-04-2024 20:11 IST
Rishi Sunak demands ‘transparent’ probe after UK aid workers killed in Gaza
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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to demand a “thorough and transparent” investigation into the circumstances around the killing of three British aid workers, the latest victims of the raging Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

According to a Downing Street statement on Tuesday, Sunak told the Israeli leader that the situation in the region is becoming “increasingly intolerable” as he stressed immediate action to ensure better aid flow into Gaza.

It came as John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby were named as the British nationals part of the security team for the World Central Kitchen charity and among seven international aid workers killed after a convoy they were travelling in was hit earlier this week.

“He [Sunak] said he was appalled by the killing of aid workers, including three British nationals, in an airstrike in Gaza yesterday [Monday] and demanded a thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened,” said the Downing Street readout of the call between Sunak and Netanyahu.

“The Prime Minister said far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza and the situation is increasingly intolerable. The UK expects to see immediate action by Israel to end restrictions on humanitarian aid, deconflict with the UN and aid agencies, protect civilians and repair vital infrastructure like hospitals and water networks,” the statement said.

“The Prime Minister reiterated that Israel’s rightful aim of defeating Hamas would not be achieved by allowing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza,” it added.

While the family of John Chapman in a statement through the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said he was ''subject to an inhumane act'', the relatives of James Kirby said they are ''utterly heartbroken'' by his death.

Speaking from Brussels as he attended a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) meeting on Wednesday, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he had sent ''condolences'' to the families of the victims.

''I welcome what the Israeli foreign minister said yesterday (Tuesday) to me about a full, urgent and transparent inquiry into how this dreadful event was allowed to happen, and we want to see that happen very quickly,'' he said.

As well as the three Britons – all former armed forces men – Australian national Lalzawmi Frankcom, Polish national Damian Sobol, Palestinian Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutahas, and US-Canadian citizen Jacob Flickinger, were also killed in the Israeli air strike.

Israel has described the strike as an accident in which the workers who had just unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food aid were hit unintentionally.

Israeli military operations have been ongoing since Hamas gunmen attacked southern Israel in October last year, killing thousands of people and seizing hundreds as hostages.

Last week, the UN Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after the US did not veto the measure in a shift from its previous position. It also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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