Israel and Hamas at war, day 180 | Members of an NGO killed: Israel cites “bad identification”

The Israeli army recognized on Wednesday a “serious error” after the strike which killed seven members of a humanitarian NGO in the Gaza Strip, including six foreigners whose bodies were to leave the Palestinian territory to be repatriated.


The strike, which sparked a wave of international criticism, comes after nearly six months of a devastating war in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas, sparked by an unprecedented attack by the Islamist movement in Israel on October 7.

Returning from a mission to Gaza, Dominic Allen, representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), judged the situation in the besieged Palestinian territory, on the verge of famine, “worse than catastrophic”.

The Israeli strike on Monday in Deir al-Balah (center) killed seven members of World Central Kitchen (WCK, based in the United States) who had just unloaded “more than 100 tons of food brought to Gaza by sea”, according to long.

It is “a serious error” which “should not have happened”, declared the chief of the Israeli general staff Herzi Halevi, referring to “a bad identification” in “very complex conditions”.

“Apologies”

On Tuesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog presented his “apologies”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referring to an “unintentional” and “tragic” strike.

WCK, which said it was “devastated” by the death of its “heroes”, published on X the names, photos and nationalities of the victims: Saifeddine Issam Ayad Aboutaha, 25 years old, Palestinian; Lalzawmi Frankcom, 43, Australian; Damian Sobol, 35 years old, Polish; Jacob Flickinger, 33, American-Canadian, as well as John Chapman, 57, James Henderson, 33 and James Kirby, 47, from the British.

The remains of the six Westerners must be brought to the Rafah border post (south) on Wednesday with a view to their repatriation, said Marwan al-Hams, director of the Abou Najar hospital in this city bordering Egypt.

The UN denounced a “disregard for international humanitarian law” and American President Joe Biden said he was “outraged”, believing that Israel does not “enough” protect people coming to the aid of the “starving” Palestinian population.

Historical allies of Israel, the United States also called for a “rapid” investigation into the tragedy.

“Unacceptable”

” It is unacceptable. But this is the inevitable result of the way the war is being fought,” noted United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, repeating his call for an immediate ceasefire.

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an attack in southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data. According to Israel, around 250 people were kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages, including 34 who died in Gaza.

In retaliation, Israel set itself the goal of destroying Hamas and launched a campaign of intense aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip, followed by a ground offensive that allowed its soldiers to advance from the north to the south of the small strip of land.

At least 32,916 people, most of them civilians, were killed in Israeli operations, the Hamas health ministry said.

The Hamas health ministry reported early Wednesday that 60 people had been killed in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours.

WCK announced it was suspending its operations in the region after Monday’s strike, the deadliest to hit international humanitarian personnel since the start of the war.

Since October 7, the NGO has provided meals in the Palestinian territory, where the majority of the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants are threatened with famine according to the UN. In mid-March, she participated in sending the first aid boat to Gaza from Cyprus.

This maritime corridor was set up because of the difficulty of bringing humanitarian aid by land into the territory under Israeli blockade, but many countries consider that the land route is the most likely to allow the delivery of the enormous help that the population needs.

After Monday’s strike, a second boat, the Jennifer, returned to Cyprus with nearly 240 tonnes of food still on board.

The “traitor” Netanyahu

The Israeli army withdrew on Monday from the al-Chifa hospital complex in the city of Gaza (north), where it had launched a vast operation on March 18 against Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union and accused of using this place as a “command center”.

It indicated on Tuesday that it was continuing its operations in the town of Khan Younes (south), particularly in the area of ​​Al-Amal hospital, which had to cease its activities a week ago due to Israeli operations.

In Al-Amal, she said in particular that she had “killed and arrested a number of terrorists”. “Numerous weapons” were also discovered.

In Jerusalem, for the fourth consecutive evening, families of hostages and opponents of Mr. Netanyahu’s government gathered on Tuesday in front of Parliament to shout their anger and demand the resignation of the Prime Minister.

“You are leading a campaign against me, against the hostage families, you have turned against us. You call us “traitors” when YOU are the traitor, a traitor to your people, to your voters, to the State of Israel,” Einav Zangauker, whose son is being held hostage in Gaza, shouted into the microphone.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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