Hotovely summoned to Foreign Office after three UK aid workers killed in Israeli airstrike

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Hotovely summoned to Foreign Office after three UK aid workers killed in Israeli airstrike

All three British victims had previously served in the forces, and were working for World Central Kitchen as security experts at the time of the fatal Israeli airstrike

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Ambassador Hotovely at Israel 75
Ambassador Hotovely at Israel 75

UK minister Andrew Mitchell has summoned the Israeli ambassador to the UK to the Foreign Office to make known the government’s “unequivocal condemnation” of the “appalling killing” of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, including three Brits.

In a statement foreign office minister Andrew Mitchell confirmed Tzipi Hotovely had attended the meeting on Tuesday, at which Mitchell “requested a quick and transparent investigation, shared with the international community, and full accountability.”

He added:”I reiterated the need for Israel to put in place an effective deconfliction mechanism immediately and urgently to scale up humanitarian access.

“We need to see an immediate humanitarian pause, to get aid in and the hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable ceasefire.”

The three British aid workers killed in the Israeli air strike on a Gaza aid convoy were later named as John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby.

Former royal marine Henderson, 33, was a passenger in a marked vehicle belonging to the charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) when the fatal attack unfolded on Monday night.

Documents show that the former security officer from Cornwall had arrived in Gaza to work with the charity on March 27 and was on an exit list to leave on Monday.

Another victim Chapman, 57, was from Poole, Dorset, and was also a former member of the British special forces.

All three victims have been working for the charity as security experts.

His British passport was pictured among the bodies of victims on Gaza in the aftermath of the attack..

UK Prime Minister Sunak told Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “he was appalled by the killing of aid workers, including three British nationals, in an airstrike in Gaza yesterday”, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Sunak “demanded a thorough and transparent, independent investigation” into the incident, the spokesperson adds.

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

Sunak added that Israel’s aim of defeating Hamas would not be achieved by allowing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Andrew Mitchell MP

The Foreign Office had confirmed that three out of seven World Central Kitchen staff hit while travelling in two armoured and branded vehicles last night were British.

World Central Kitchen has been working to alleviate the looming famine in Gaza since the conflict erupted in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack.

Labour leader Keir Starmer also condemned Monday’s incident.

Vehicle used by World Central Kitchen is targeted in Israeli airstrike, killing 7. (pic X)

Starmer said there “must be a full investigation and those responsible must be held to account.”

He said the deaths were “outrageous and unacceptable — and that it is not the first time aid workers have come under fire in Israel’s campaign.”

Starmer stressed the need for international law to be upheld in the conflict.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hd earlier said the killing of the seven aid workers was “a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli army said a probe had been launched.

The other aid workers killed were from Australia, Poland and Palestine. The bodies have been taken to a hospital near the Egyptian border with Gaza, according to reports.

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