Sunak demands answers from Israel as British aid workers killed in Gaza airstrikes named: Updates

Rishi Sunak is demanding answers from Israel after seven aid workers were killed in an airstrike in Gaza

(Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

Rishi Sunak is demanding answers from Israel after seven aid workers were killed in an airstrike in Gaza.

The prime minister called for a “thorough and transparent investigation” from Israel after members of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) team, including three Brits, were killed returning from coordinating an aid shipment.

WCK is a charity that has been supplying food to starving Palestinians who are on the brink of famine amid Israel’s total war on the besieged strip.

The killings have prompted international condemnation.

On Tuesday evening, Mr Sunak telephoned Benjamin Netanyahu to say that “far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza” and that the situation there is “increasingly intolerable”.

Foreign secretary David Cameron called on Israel to “immediately investigate”, adding that the government wanted “a full, transparent explanation of what happened”.


Cameron calls killing of aid workers ‘dreadful’

Lord David Cameron has described the killings of the aid workers as “dreadful” and said “we should mourn the loss of these brave humanitarian workers”.

As he arrived at a Nato meeting in Brussels, the Foreign Secretary told broadcasters: “The dreadful events of the last two days are a moment when we should mourn the loss of these brave humanitarian workers, including the three British citizens that tragically were killed.

“We should also send our condolences to their families and our thoughts should be with them.”

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 11:00


Family of Brit killed in Israeli airstrike pay tribute

The family of James Kirby, one of the three British nationals killed in an Israeli air strike on aid workers in Gaza, have paid tribute to him as a “genuine gentleman”.

In a statement to the BBC, they said: “Alongside the other six individuals who tragically lost their lives, he will be remembered as a hero.

“James understood the dangers of venturing into Gaza, drawing from his experiences in the British Armed Forces, where he bravely served tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

“Despite the risks, his compassionate nature drove him to offer assistance to those in dire need.”

The statement added the family are “incredibly proud of who James was and what he achieved”.

James Kirby was working on the WCK team’s security, the charity said


Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 10:52


Former national security adviser calls for immediate ceasefire after aid worker killings

Lord Peter Ricketts, a former national security adviser, said Israel’s killing of seven aid workers has sparked “global outrage” as he called for an “immediate ceasefire”.

Lord Ricketts told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Sometimes in conflict, you get a moment where there’s such global outrage that it crystalises a sense that things can’t go on like this.

“And I think – I hope – that this awful incident will serve that purpose.”

He said a failure by Israel to respond appropriately and show aid workers they are able to deliver supplies to area of conflict should prompt “further steps to increase the pressure on Netanyahu”, including the UK no longer supplying the country with arms.

“I think there is abundant evidence now that Israel hasn’t been taking enough care to fulfil its obligations on the safety of civilians and a country that gets arms from the UK has to comply with international humanitarian law,” he added.

He said action from the UK might encourage the US to also stop supplying arms to Israel, which would be a “real game-changer”, Lord Ricketts said.

He called for “an immediate ceasefire for an extended period to open up the borders and make it safe to get aid in for those delivering it and those receiving it”, adding this could also help secure the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Lord Ricketts was security adviser to former PM David Cameron

(Wikimedia Commons)

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 10:40


Shadow treasury minister says Israel gone ‘too far’

The UK and US are saying Israel has “gone too far” in its war against Hamas, shadow Treasury minister Darren Jones has said.

Asked if he would support the UK ending arms sales to Israel, Mr Jones told Good Morning Britain: “The fact of the matter is if the UK, for example, stopped supplying arms, the war would not end. What we need to do is get the parties to a position where the fighting can stop.

“I think what we’ve seen from President Biden, from Keir Starmer, and now from Lord Cameron, our own foreign secretary, is that countries that supported Israel’s right to defend itself and to recover its hostages from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, which clearly is their right to have done in the first place, have all said that you’ve gone too far, that we need to bring this war to an end, we need to get around the negotiating table, we need to aid to get to people who desperately need it in Gaza.

“This latest situation, not only has it resulted in the death of aid workers, which is unacceptable, but it’s now making it much harder for aid to be made available to people who are in the most desperate situations.”

Mr Jones declined to say whether Israel was violating international law.

He said: “As always, on questions of international law, it’s for judges and courts to make that decision, not for politicians.”

Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 10:38


Downing Street’s full statement on PM’s call with Netanyahu

A Downing Street spokesman said on Tuesday: “The Prime Minister spoke to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening.

“He said he was appalled by the killing of aid workers, including three British nationals, in an air strike in Gaza yesterday and demanded a thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened.

“The Prime Minister said far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza and the situation is increasingly intolerable.

“The UK expects to see immediate action by Israel to end restrictions on humanitarian aid, deconflict with the UN and aid agencies, protect civilians and repair vital infrastructure like hospitals and water networks.

“The Prime Minister reiterated that Israel’s rightful aim of defeating Hamas would not be achieved by allowing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.”


Athena Stavrou3 April 2024 10:37


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