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US urges ‘swift, impartial investigation’ into Israeli strike on aid workers: Blinken

Biden urges Netanyahu to reach 'immediate ceasefire' in Gaza: White House
Source: Video Screenshot

The United States on Tuesday urged an impartial investigation into an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip that killed seven staff of US-based charity World Central Kitchen, saying Israel should do more to protect civilians.

The US urges “a swift, thorough and impartial investigation to understand exactly what happened”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters in Paris alongside French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne.

“What we have impressed upon the Israelis is to do more to protect innocent civilian lives, be they innocent Palestinian children or aid workers.”

“We should not have a situation where people who are simply trying to help their fellow human beings are themselves at great risk,” said Blinken, adding humanitarian workers “have to be protected”.

“Protecting humanitarian workers is a moral and legal imperative that everyone must adhere to,” Sejourne said, adding that France “strongly condemns” the strike by Israel.

“Nothing justifies such a tragedy.”

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war erupted after Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Palestinian militants also seized around 250 hostages. Israel believes about 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 presumed dead.

Israel’s relentless retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,916 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Blinken said that measures taken so far by Israel to ease the distribution of aid into Gaza were “simply put insufficient”.

“It is not enough to meet the needs of the children of Gaza… who remain caught in horrific crossfire of Hamas’s making”.

We are looking very carefully to ensure the necessary steps are taken” by Israel, said Blinken.

Pointing to the killing of the aid workers, he urged better coordination between Israeli authorities and aid groups on the ground.

“Coordination has been a perennial problem,” he said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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