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Sunak Tells Netanyahu He's ‘Appalled’ By Killing Of Aid Workers In Gaza

A man displays blood-stained British, Polish, and Australian passports after an Israeli airstrike, in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip.
A man displays blood-stained British, Polish, and Australian passports after an Israeli airstrike, in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip.via Associated Press

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has told Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu that he is “appalled” by the killing of aid workers in an Israeli strike in a sign of a growing split between the two allies.

The leaders spoke after it was confirmed three UK citizens were among seven workers for the World Central Kitchen food charity killed in Gaza.

Downing Street said Sunak “demanded a thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened” and described the situation in Gaza as “increasingly intolerable”.

Britain is a staunch ally of Israeli, but Sunak has become increasingly critical of the conduct of the war. He is under pressure to suspend UK arms exports to Israel.

He told Netanyahu that “Israel’s rightful aim of defeating Hamas would not be achieved by allowing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza”.

The UN says at least 180 humanitarian workers have been killed in the war so far.

James Henderson, 33, and John Chapman, 57, were named as two of the Brits who had died in the bombing. On Tuesday night, a third was named as James Kirby by the BBC.

People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip.
People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip.via Associated Press

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The prime minister spoke to Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening.

“He said he was appalled by the killing of aid workers, including three British nationals, in an airstrike in Gaza yesterday and demanded a thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened.

“The prime minister said far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza and the situation is increasingly intolerable.”

Netanyahu has acknowledged that the country’s forces had carried out the “unintended strike” on “innocent people in the Gaza Strip”. He says officials are “checking this thoroughly” and “will do everything for this not to happen again”.

Footage showed the bodies, several wearing protective gear with the charity’s logo, at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah. Those killed also included an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen and a Palestinian, according to hospital records.

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