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US Urges Israel To Hold 'Swift, Impartial' Investigation Into Airstrike That Killed Humanitarian Aid Workers

02.04.2024 19:12

US stressed to Israelis 'absolute imperative' to protect innocent civilians in Gaza Strip, adds Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The US has urged Israel to hold a swift and impartial investigation into its Monday airstrike which killed seven humanitarian aid workers in Gaza, the secretary of state said.

"The victims of yesterday's strike join a record number of humanitarian workers who have been killed in this particular conflict," Antony Blinken told a Tuesday joint press conference in Paris with his French counterpart Stephane Sejourne.

"We've spoken directly to the Israeli government about this particular incident. We've urged a swift, thorough, and impartial investigation to understand exactly what happened," Blinken said.

"And as we have throughout this conflict, we've impressed upon the Israelis the absolute imperative of doing more to protect innocent civilian lives, be they Palestinian children, women and men or be they aid workers as well as to get more humanitarian assistance to more people more effectively," he added.

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

Stephane Sejourne also condemned the attack, stressing that "the protection of humanitarian workers is a moral and legal imperative that everyone must respect."

He called for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions that urge an immediate cease-fire to ensure the protection of all civilians.

Sejourne also urged all parties avoid an escalation in the region, particularly in Lebanon, as some actors are seeking ways to expand the conflict.

Blinken said the US and France are focused on ensuring that not only does humanitarian aid enter Gaza, but it is delivered to everyone in need, particularly to the population in the most critical northern part.

"We also agree that we have to find a path to a durable, lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike," Blinken also said.

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

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