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Did British bombs kill British aid workers in Gaza?

MP demands immediate investigation

LEFT MPs and activists want an “immediate investigation” into whether Britain supplied the arms that killed British aid workers in Gaza on Monday.

The Israeli strike on an aid convoy as it left the Deir al-Balah warehouse in Gaza, which killed seven humanitarian workers, has sparked international uproar.

Those killed include three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen and a Palestinian, according to hospital records.

Labour MP Richard Burgon demanded “a full investigation into whether British-supplied arms were used in the Israeli air strike in Gaza that killed seven aid workers, including British nationals, from the WCK.”

Writing to Foreign Secretary David Cameron today, the Leeds East MP said the attack once again underlines why Britain “should immediately suspend arms sales to Israel, given the role these could be playing in such deadly attacks on Gaza and even in war crimes carried out by the Israeli government. 

He added: “I do not need to remind you that international law prohibits attacks on aid workers.”

In his letter Mr Burgon said that since 2015 Britain has licensed at least £474 million worth of military exports to Israel, including components for combat aircraft, missiles, tanks, technology, small arms and ammunition. 

In a post on the X social media site, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron described the attack as “deeply distressing” and called on Israel to investigate why the aid workers were killed — but didn’t refer to Britain’s role in supplying the Israeli military.

The government already faces criticism after a leak revealed it has received legal advice that Israel’s army is breaching international law, but has not stopped the flow of weaponry.

The stricken convoy of three vehicles, co-ordinated by the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity, had just unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid delivered through the recently established maritime route.

All three vehicles were hit by the attack even though WCK insisted that the convoy’s movements had been co-ordinated with the Israelis and the workers were all wearing bullet-proof vests with prominent WCK logos.

WCK’s founder, celebrity chef Jose Andres, said he was “heartbroken” by the deaths.

“The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing,” he wrote on the X social media site.

The group said it would “be making decisions about the future of its work soon.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that the country’s forces had carried out the “unintended strike on innocent people.”

He said officials were looking into the strike and would work to ensure it did not happen again.

But Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe slammed the attack as “daylight murder” and said Israel had clearly targeted the aid workers.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn MP demanded the suspension of arms sales to Israel and added that the British government “must demand an immediate ceasefire, end its complicity in this horror.”

Scottish Green MSP Maggie Chapman said that besides ending military support to Israel, Lord Cameron should restore funding to UN aid agency UNRWA, which Britain suspended following unsubstantiated Israeli claims that 12 of its 30,000 employees had participated in the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Convener of the Stop the War Coalition Lindsey German said the peace movement would “keep marching and campaigning not only for a ceasefire, but to stop arming Israel and for justice for the Palestinians.”

Communist Party of Britain international secretary Kevan Nelson said: “The IDF’s latest indiscriminate killing of aid and medical workers plumbs new depths of barbarism. 

“The British government’s feeble call for Israel to investigate its own actions is shameful and consistent with its long term complicity in the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

It has been almost impossible to reach the starving Palestinian people with food aid because of obstacles put in place by Israel.

Aid groups have repeatedly called for a humanitarian ceasefire, saying it’s the only way to reach people in need.

Islamic Relief said: “Six months of Israeli bombing has turned Gaza into the world’s most dangerous place to deliver aid. More than 200 aid workers, mostly Palestinians, have been killed — the deadliest ever crisis for humanitarian workers. 

“Children are starving to death because Israel is preventing sufficient aid from entering by land, and now humanitarian workers are being killed while they try to deliver lifesaving food that has been shipped in by sea.”

The charity added: “Only an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s siege can prevent famine and mass loss of life now.” 

The American Near East Refugee Aid, a Washington-based aid group that has been operating in the Palestinian territories for decades, said that in the wake of the strike it was taking the “unprecedented” step of pausing its own operations in Gaza.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations humanitarian co-ordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the strike was “not an isolated incident, noting the 200 aid workers already killed.

“This is nearly three times the death toll recorded in any single conflict in a year,” he said.

More than 32,900 Palestinians have been killed in the war, around two-thirds of them women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Late on Monday two other Israeli strikes killed at least 16 Palestinians, including five children, in Rafah, where Israel has vowed to expand its ground operation despite the presence of some 1.4 million Palestinians, most of whom have sought refuge from fighting elsewhere.

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