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EU’s Borrell condemns Israeli strike on aid workers

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has condemned an Israeli strike that killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen in Gaza, and called for an inquiry.

“I condemn the attack and urge an investigation. Despite all the demands to protect civilians and humanitarian workers, we see new innocent casualties,” Mr Borrell wrote on X.

Citizens from Australia, Britain and Poland were among those working for celebrity chef Jose Andres’ WCK, the NGO said.

The WCK delivers food relief and prepares meals for people in need. It said last month it had served more than 42 million meals in Gaza over 175 days.

“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,” said Erin Gore, chief executive of World Central Kitchen.

“This is unforgivable.”

Passports of those working with the World Central Kitchen who were killed in Deir Al-Balah

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of 44-year-old Australian aid worker Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom and said his government had contacted Israel to demand those responsible be held accountable.

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“This is a human tragedy that should never have occurred, that is completely unacceptable and Australia will seek full and proper accountability,” he said at a news conference.

Mr Albanese said innocent civilians and those doing humanitarian work needed to be protected and reiterated his call for a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza along with more aid to help those suffering from “tremendous deprivation”.

Poland’s foreign ministry expressed condolences to the family of a Polish volunteer killed in the strike.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family of the volunteer who was providing aid to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” the ministry said in a post on X.

“Poland objects to the disregard for international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians, including humanitarian workers.”

The president of the city of Przemysl, in southeastern Poland, identified the volunteer as Damian Sobol.

“Yesterday, our colleague, resident of Przemysl, volunteer, member of the World Central Kitchen team – Damian Sobol, was killed in a rocket attack by Israeli forces on a humanitarian convoy delivering food in the Gaza Strip,” he wrote on Facebook.

“There are no words to describe what people who knew this fantastic guy feel at this moment… May he rest in peace.”

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said he had asked the Israeli ambassador to Poland for “urgent explanations”.

“I personally asked the Israeli ambassador Yacov Livne for urgent explanations,” Mr Sikorski said on social media, adding that he had offered “condolences to the family of our brave volunteer” and saying Poland would open its own inquiry into the aid worker’s death.

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