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Israel-Hamas war: Three Britons killed in Gaza named as IDF says ‘misidentification’ led to deadly airstrike

Three British aid workers killed in Gaza have been named – with Israel admitting the airstrike was a “grave mistake”.

John Chapman, James Kirby and James Henderson were among seven World Central Kitchen volunteers who died after a convoy they were traveling in was hit.

The Israel Defense Forces said the attack did not target aid workers and that a thorough investigation into the incident would be completed in the coming days.

“It was a mistake that followed a misidentification – at night, during a war, in very complex conditions. It shouldn’t have happened,” an official added.

News from the Middle East: Israel expresses its condolences after “tragic deaths”.

Melbourne-born Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom also died in the attack – along with Palestinian citizen Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, Damian Sobol from Poland and US-Canadian dual citizen Jacob Flickinger.

The bloodstained British, Polish and Australian passports of the aid workers killed by Israel.  Image: AP
Picture:
The volunteers’ bloodstained British, Polish and Australian passports. Image: AP

Documents seen by Sky News suggest that Chapman, 57, was due to leave the Palestinian territory on the day of the deadly airstrike.

All three British nationals were part of World Central Kitchen’s security team – and it is believed the volunteers were helping to deliver aid that had arrived hours earlier on a ship from Cyprus.

Among those killed were nationals of Poland and Australia, as well as a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, as well as a Palestinian who was driving the car in which they were all traveling.

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What happened to the aid workers killed in an air raid?

Erin Gore, chief executive of the charity, said: “Their smiles, laughter and voices are forever etched in our memories. And we have countless memories of them giving their best to the world.”

“We are reeling from our loss. The loss of the world.”

US President Joe Biden said he was “outraged and heartbroken” by her death.

“They provided food to hungry civilians in the middle of war. They were brave and selfless. Her death is a tragedy,” he added.

One of the vehicles in which the helpers were traveling.  Image: AP
Picture:
One of the vehicles in which the helpers were traveling. Image: AP

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Mr Biden also criticized Israel – saying the country had not done enough to protect civilians.

“What is even more tragic is that this is not an isolated incident,” his statement said. “This conflict was one of the worst in recent memory in terms of the number of aid workers killed.

“This is one of the main reasons why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult – because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to provide urgently needed assistance to civilians.”

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Netanyahu: “This is what happens in war”

Earlier, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that Israeli forces were responsible and said there had been a “tragic incident of an accidental attack by our forces on innocent people in the Gaza Strip.”

He added: “This happens in war, we are studying it to the end, we are in contact with governments and we will do everything to ensure that something like this does not happen again.”

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British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said he had spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to “emphasize that the deaths of WCK aid workers in Gaza, including three British nationals, are completely unacceptable.”

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