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Nearly 200 aid workers killed since October in occupied Palestine: UN

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 02,2024
Egyptian Red Crecent workers stand in front of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, in Rafah, Egypt, 23 March 2024. (EPA File Photo)

The UN said Tuesday that "at least 196 humanitarian workers have been killed since October" in the Gaza Strip following the recent killings of aid workers.

Describing the Palestinian territory as "one of the world's most dangerous and difficult place to work" as a humanitarian aid worker, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric at a news conference reaffirmed that all attacks against health care workers and militarization of hospitals are "unacceptable."

He stressed that hospitals need to be protected for civilians to receive the life-saving aid they may need.

Reiterating the UN's urgent call for an immediate cease-fire, Dujarric said UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, met with workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza one day before they were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Noting that Kaag is "appalled" by the attack, Dujarric conveyed her condolences to the families of those killed.

Asked about UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' message on the killing of the aid workers, Dujarric said, "The message is let humanitarian workers do their job. They need to be able to do it and safety."

Dujarric noted that Israel launched an investigation into the WCK attack and the UN is awaiting the results.

He also added that numerous UN personnel had been killed in the region, with some killed in locations previously communicated to Israeli authorities.

Dujarric described Israel's lack of comment on the deaths as a "very interesting contrast."

Expressing sorrow for all civilian deaths, Dujarric emphasized the need to respect all individuals.

Earlier Tuesday, World Central Kitchen said seven of its humanitarian aid workers were killed in Monday's Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.

The seven workers for the U.S.-based group who were killed on Monday were nationals of Australia, Poland, the UK, and Palestine, as well as a U.S.-Canadian dual citizen.

After the "targeted attack," the group said it was pausing operations in the region.

In addition to killing 33,000 people since Oct. 7, the Israel offensive and siege of the Strip has been blamed for near-famine conditions among more than 2 million Palestinians, and for attacks killing aid workers and civilians seeking humanitarian aid.