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Canadian citizen among 7 Gaza aid workers killed in Israeli air strike

The World Central Kitchen workers in the process of delivering food when they were struck
People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 2, 2024. World Central Kitchen, an aid group, says an Israeli strike that hit its workers in Gaza killed at least seven people, including several foreigners. (AP Photo/Abdel Kareem Hana)

A Canadian-American citizen is among the seven aid workers who were killed by an apparent Israeli airstrike in Gaza.

The World Central Kitchen says three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an Canadian-American dual citizen and a Palestinian working for the charity were in the process of delivering food that had arrived by sea on Monday when they were struck in the evening.

The charity, which was founded by celebrity chef José Andrés and operates in several countries wracked by wars or natural disasters, says it is has suspended operations in the region.

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

He says officials are investigating and “will do everything for this not to happen again.”

The charity was key to a recently opened sea route, which offered some hope for northern Gaza — where the U.N. says much of the population is on the brink of starvation, largely cut off from the rest of the territory by Israeli forces.

Andrés says he is “heartbroken” by the deaths of his colleagues.

“The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Cyprus, which has played a key role in trying to establish the sea route to bring food to territory, said ships that recently arrived were turning back — with some 240 tons of undelivered aid.

Footage of the airstrike showed the workers’ bodies, several wearing protective gear with the charity’s logo, at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

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