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Canada condemns Israel’s attack on aid workers in Gaza and calls for an investigation

Canada joined several allies including the United States, Poland and Australia on Tuesday in calling for a full investigation after an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers trying to deliver urgently needed food to the Gaza Strip. The workers, including a Canadian-American dual citizen, left a World Central Kitchen warehouse in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza in a convoy on Monday evening. They had just delivered 100 tons of food by boat from Cyprus. World Central Kitchen identified the Canadian-American dual citizen as 33-year-old Jacob Flickinger. The strike came despite extensive efforts to coordinate the movements of World Central Kitchen workers with the Israeli Defense Forces, the aid group said in a statement. The attack also killed three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national and a Palestinian. “This is not just an attack against (World Central Kitchen), it is an attack on humanitarian organizations that show up in the worst situations where food is used as a weapon of war,” the organization’s CEO Erin Gore said in an email -Email statement. “This is unforgivable.” Gore’s group suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack. A picture from the crime scene shows a white truck, with the World Central Kitchen logo clearly visible among the charred remains. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was “absolutely unacceptable” to attack aid workers. “This is something that should never have happened and we are heartbroken for the families and for the organization that put people at risk to address the exceptionally devastating humanitarian crisis currently raging in Gaza,” he said. “We obviously need full accountability and education on this matter.” Trudeau said there needs to be “clarity” about how it happened and reiterated his call for a ceasefire “so that more aid workers are not put in danger while they try “To respond to the suffering on the ground in Gaza.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that Israeli forces carried out the “accidental attack” that killed “innocent people.” He said officials would investigate and “do everything we can to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.” According to the U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Database, more than 200 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the latest conflict there escalated in the fall. On October 7, Hamas, a designated terrorist organization in Canada, launched an attack against Israel that killed 1,200 people, many of them living in agricultural communities near the Gaza border. More than 200 hostages have been taken and about 100 remain captive in Gaza. The Netanyahu government responded with enormous violence and vowed to destroy Hamas. More than a million Palestinians in Gaza have been displaced and aid groups warn the situation is dire, with access to food and medicine extremely limited. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said more than 32,000 people had been killed in the territory since October. World Central Kitchen recently reported that it had set up 68 kitchens across the Gaza Strip, providing millions of meals to desperate people. Founded by celebrity chef José Andrés in 2010 after the deadly earthquake in Haiti, the charity works with local chefs and restaurants wherever possible to quickly increase food delivery assistance following a natural disaster or war. The company currently operates in several countries experiencing armed conflict, including Haiti and Ukraine. It often reacts quickly even after hurricanes and earthquakes. In 2022, the company partnered with Canadian restaurants in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to provide meals to families affected by Post-Tropical Storm Fiona. In mid-March, World Central Kitchen became the first aid organization in more than 20 years to bring aid to Gaza by sea, with Israel providing security. To achieve this, a temporary pier had to be built from rubble transported from across the area. A second sea shipment left Cyprus on Saturday. The workers who delivered these supplies were the ones who were affected. Just a week ago, Lalzawmi Frankcom, known as Zomi, was on the charity’s X account and shared a video from the same warehouse where she was killed on Monday. Britain has summoned Israel’s ambassador to explain what happened after the deaths of three of its citizens. Poland and Australia also demanded explanations from Israel. It was not clear whether Canada had spoken directly to Israeli officials. Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said Tuesday she was “appalled” by the airstrike. Her office said she had not contacted her Israeli counterpart as of late afternoon. “We condemn these attacks and call for a full investigation,” she wrote on Israeli government has already asked for a “quick, thorough and impartial investigation to understand exactly what happened.” Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East said it disputes the notion that the airstrikes were inadvertently targeted at aid workers. “This is far from the first time that Israel has targeted an aid convoy or killed humanitarian workers,” said the group’s vice president, Michael Bueckert. He called on Canada to sanction Israeli leaders. The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada also called calling for accountability and calling the airstrike “deeply regrettable.” “The Israeli government must conduct a thorough investigation and hold accountable those who made the mistake,” the group said in a statement. “Humanitarian aid to Gaza is as important as that of Israel.” Efforts to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities. We extend our condolences to those killed.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2024. – With files obtained by The Associated Press, Canada joined several allies, including the United States, Poland and Australia, in calling for a full investigation Tuesday after an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers who were trying to deliver urgently needed food to the to deliver to the Gaza Strip. The workers, including a Canadian-American dual citizen, left a World Central Kitchen warehouse in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza in a convoy on Monday evening. They had just delivered 100 tons of food by boat from Cyprus. World Central Kitchen identified the Canadian-American dual citizen as 33-year-old Jacob Flickinger. The strike took place despite extensive efforts to coordinate movements by World Central Israeli Defense Forces kitchen workers, the aid group said in a statement. Three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national and a Palestinian were also killed in the attack. “This is not just an attack against (World Central Kitchen), it is an attack on humanitarian organizations that show up in the worst situations where food is used as a weapon of war,” the organization’s CEO Erin Gore said in an email -Email statement. “This is unforgivable.” Gore’s group suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack. A picture from the crime scene shows a white truck, with the World Central Kitchen logo clearly visible among the charred remains. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was “absolutely unacceptable” to attack aid workers. “This is something that should never have happened and we are heartbroken for the families and for the organization that put people in harm’s way to address the exceptionally devastating humanitarian crisis currently raging in Gaza,” he said. “We obviously need full accountability and education on this matter.” Trudeau said there needs to be “clarity” about how it happened and reiterated his call for a ceasefire “so that more aid workers are not put in danger while they try “To respond to the suffering on the ground in Gaza.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that Israeli forces carried out the “accidental attack” that killed “innocent people.” He said officials would investigate and “do everything we can to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.” According to the U.S. aid database, more than 200 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the latest conflict escalated in the fall. On October 7, Hamas, a designated terrorist organization in Canada, launched an attack against Israel that killed 1,200 people, many of them living in agricultural communities near the Gaza border. More than 200 hostages have been taken and about 100 remain captive in Gaza. The Netanyahu government responded with enormous violence and vowed to destroy Hamas. More than a million Palestinians in Gaza have been displaced and aid groups warn the situation is dire, with access to food and medicine extremely limited. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said more than 32,000 people had been killed in the territory since October. World Central Kitchen recently reported that it had set up 68 kitchens across the Gaza Strip, providing millions of meals to desperate people. Founded by celebrity chef José Andrés in 2010 after the deadly earthquake in Haiti, the charity works with local chefs and restaurants wherever possible to quickly increase food delivery assistance following a natural disaster or war. The company currently operates in several countries experiencing armed conflict, including Haiti and Ukraine. It often reacts quickly even after hurricanes and earthquakes. In 2022, the company partnered with Canadian restaurants in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to provide meals to families affected by Post-Tropical Storm Fiona. In mid-March, World Central Kitchen became the first aid organization in more than 20 years to bring aid to Gaza by sea, with Israel providing security. To achieve this, a temporary pier had to be built from rubble transported from across the area. A second sea shipment left Cyprus on Saturday. The workers who delivered these supplies were the ones who were affected. Just a week ago, Lalzawmi Frankcom, known as Zomi, was on the charity’s X account and shared a video from the same warehouse where she was killed on Monday. Britain has summoned Israel’s ambassador to explain what happened after the deaths of three of its citizens. Poland and Australia also demanded explanations from Israel. It was not clear whether Canada had spoken directly to Israeli officials. Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said Tuesday she was “appalled” by the airstrike. Her office said she had not contacted her Israeli counterpart as of late afternoon. “We condemn these attacks and call for a full investigation,” she wrote on Israeli government has already asked for a “quick, thorough and impartial investigation to understand exactly what happened.” Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East said it disputes the notion that the airstrikes were inadvertently targeted at aid workers. “This is far from the first time that Israel has targeted an aid convoy or killed humanitarian workers,” said the group’s vice president, Michael Bueckert. He called on Canada to sanction Israeli leaders. The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Canada also called calling for accountability and calling the airstrike “deeply regrettable.” “The Israeli government must conduct a thorough investigation and hold accountable those who made the mistake,” the group said in a statement. “Humanitarian aid to Gaza is as important as that of Israel.” Efforts to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities. We extend our condolences to those killed.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2024. – With files from The Associated Press

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