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Gaza aid relief from Cyprus threatened by Israeli attack on charity vehicles

World Central Kitchen (WCK), the charity helping to organize the shipment of aid relief from Cyprus to Gaza via improvised jetties and piers, has paused its operations in Gaza after a WCK-marked vehicle was hit by Israeli forces in what has been described by several observers as a “targeted attack”, and by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an “unintentional strike”.

The seven aid workers who were killed were travelling in a “deconflicted zone in two armoured cars branded with the WCK logo” and a normal vehicle, according to a statement from WCK.

Three British civilians were among the seven aid workers killed, WCK has confirmed.

The charity said that “despite coordinating movements” with Israeli forces, they were attacked after leaving a warehouse in Deir al-Balah. WCK had just unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid that had been brought to Gaza via ship.

WCK chief executive Erin Gore said in the statement that she was “heartbroken and appalled” at the “targeted attack by the IDF”. The charity was now pausing its operations; it said that it would make decisions about the future of its work soon.

WCK said that the killed aid workers people are from the UK, Australia and Poland, as well a dual US-Canadian national and Palestinians.

Cargo ship Jennifer (IMO 8404496) departed from Larnaca, Cyprus, on March 29th, transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza as part of the Amalthea project. The voyage to Gaza was scheduled to take about three days. However, there are now reports that the ship and accompanying barge were going to turn round and return to Cyprus. The combined convoy was carrying 332 tons of food, authorities said when its journey to Gaza was still on.

Saturday’s convoy also included two forklifts and a crane to assist with future marine deliveries, as well as a team to operate the crane.