Israel 'deliberately' targeted aid workers to create famine in Gaza, says Palestinian ambassador

4 April 2024, 20:03 | Updated: 4 April 2024, 20:49

Three British aid workers were killed in Gaza in an Israeli air strike
Three British aid workers were killed in Gaza in an Israeli air strike. Picture: Alamy/World Central Kitchen

By Flaminia Luck

The Palestinian Ambassador to the UK has accused Israel of "deliberately" targeting aid workers in Gaza to create famine, in an interview with LBC.

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Husan Zumlot told Joseph Draper the attack on aid convoys which killed three British charity workers this week "could not be more deliberate".

Three of the workers - who have been named as John Chapman, James Kirby, James Henderson - were delivering food parcles for the charity, World Central Kitchen.

The deaths have sparked outcry and outrage, including condemnation from world leaders.

Mr Zumlot added the acts are part of Israel's "pattern" of pushing people to a level of either "dying or leaving".

'He was selfless, he'd help anybody... I hope this is a turning point' says Adam McGuire, cousin of James Kirby who was one of the three British aid workers killed in Israel

"How can it be an accident when you hit them three times?" Mr Zumlot said.

He added the car was marked as a World Central Kitchen vehicle, and that the charity has coordinated the mission with Israel in a de-conflicted area.

"This could not be more deliberate. And could not be more part of a pattern.

"A pattern that is Israel enforcing a famine on the people of Gaza as part of their effort to turn Gaza unlivable, lifeless and to push people out of their homeland."

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He said the use of food and disease as a weapon of war in the 21st Century is a "scar on our humanity".

He added: "If you want to exterminate a people, you simply make sure you destroy their livelihood including their ability to eat, to drink water or get electricity."

On Wednesday, a UN spokesperson said aid movements would be suspended for 48 hours to allow for further evaluation of the security issues that impact both personnel on the ground and the people they are trying to serve.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said their deaths were "tragic", but added that "it happens in war".

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi later apologised.

The family James Kirby, one of the Brits killed, said Benjamin Netanyahu's comments on the group's deaths were "disrespectful".