Australia to Appoint Special Adviser to Investigate Aid Worker Deaths in Gaza – 2024-04-12 14:28:40

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia wanted detailed answers regarding the deaths of WCK volunteers by Israeli forces.(AFP)

AUSTRALIA says it will appoint a special adviser to work with Israel to ensure “transparency” in the investigation into an airstrike in Gaza that killed seven aid workers, including an Australian.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia wanted detailed answers about how aid workers from the US-based World Central Kitchen were killed by Israeli forces last Monday.

The group includes Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, a 43-year-old Australian citizen, as well as British, Palestinian, Polish and US-Canadian employees.

Wong told reporters Saturday that the information about the attack provided by Israel so far was insufficient and that the Australian government wanted “suitably qualified people” to monitor the investigation.

“The government will appoint a special advisor who we ask Israel to cooperate with so that we can be informed about the feasibility of the process,” Wong said.

“We want to have complete confidence in the transparency and accountability of any investigation.”

Also read: Australian Prime Minister Condemns Israel’s Explanation of the Death of Aid Workers in Gaza

Israel’s military said it fired two officers over the killing of aid workers in Gaza, where humanitarian groups say famine is imminent.

But Israel’s admission of rare wrongdoing has not stopped calls for an independent investigation.

The deaths of the aid workers caused tension between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also read: Britain asks Israel for an explanation for the killing of seven volunteers in Gaza

Wong said details of the special adviser would be announced in the near future.

The war in Gaza began on October 7 with an unprecedented attack on the territory by Hamas militants that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people in southern Israel, most of them civilians, according to Israeli data.

Palestinian militants also held around 250 Israelis and foreigners hostage, about 130 of whom were still in Gaza, including more than 30 people the army said were killed.

Israel’s counteroffensive against Hamas has killed at least 33,137 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled territory. (AFP/Z-3)

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