Israel's highest-ranking officer has apologised for making a 'grave mistake' after his forces killed seven aid workers by bombing a clearly marked food convoy in Gaza. Former Royal Marines James Henderson (pictured) and John Chapman and an ex-soldier named last night as James Kirby were among the victims of the 'outrageous' drone strike that has triggered worldwide condemnation. The team, which was providing security for the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity, were hit on Monday as they moved food from a warehouse to distribute to Gaza's starving population.

Israel's highest-ranking officer has apologised for making a 'grave mistake' after his forces killed seven aid workers by bombing a clearly marked food convoy in Gaza. Former Royal Marines James Henderson (pictured) and John Chapman and an ex-soldier named last night as James Kirby were among the victims of the 'outrageous' drone strike that has triggered worldwide condemnation. The team, which was providing security for the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity, were hit on Monday as they moved food from a warehouse to distribute to Gaza's starving population.

Israel’s highest-ranking officer has apologised for making a ‘grave mistake’ after his forces killed seven aid workers by bombing a clearly marked food convoy in Gaza. Former Royal Marines James Henderson (pictured) and John Chapman and an ex-soldier named last night as James Kirby were among the victims of the ‘outrageous’ drone strike that has triggered worldwide condemnation. The team, which was providing security for the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity, were hit on Monday as they moved food from a warehouse to distribute to Gaza’s starving population.

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) chief Herzi Halevi (Pictured) has now expressed remorse over the killings, which he says were the result of a 'misidentification' in complex conditions. He gave no further details. Lt. Gen. Halevi admitted the bombing 'shouldn't have happened' and said an independent body would conduct a 'thorough investigation' that would be completed in the coming days. Aid agencies accused Israel of deliberately targeting their staff, while experts, including the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counterterror, have warned the killing of WCK workers could be a war crime. 'This incident was a grave mistake,' Lt. Gen. Halevi said in a video message posted on X early Wednesday morning, as he announced the results of IDF's 'preliminary debrief' into the killings. 'I want to be very clear - the strike was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers. It was a mistake that followed a misidentification - at night during a war in very complex conditions. It shouldn't have happened.' He added: 'Israel is at a war with Hamas, not the people of Gaza.'

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) chief Herzi Halevi (Pictured) has now expressed remorse over the killings, which he says were the result of a ‘misidentification’ in complex conditions. He gave no further details. Lt. Gen. Halevi admitted the bombing ‘shouldn’t have happened’ and said an independent body would conduct a ‘thorough investigation’ that would be completed in the coming days. Aid agencies accused Israel of deliberately targeting their staff, while experts, including the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counterterror, have warned the killing of WCK workers could be a war crime. ‘This incident was a grave mistake,’ Lt. Gen. Halevi said in a video message posted on X early Wednesday morning, as he announced the results of IDF’s ‘preliminary debrief’ into the killings. ‘I want to be very clear – the strike was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers. It was a mistake that followed a misidentification – at night during a war in very complex conditions. It shouldn’t have happened.’ He added: ‘Israel is at a war with Hamas, not the people of Gaza.’

Lt. Gen. Halevi revealed a probe has been launched into the incident in the coming days and said the conclusions of the independent investigation would be implemented immediately and shared with WCK and other 'relevant' international organisations. He said he has visited the new Humanitarian Command Center that was established on Tuesday to 'improve the way we coordinate aid distribution in Gaza'. 'We will continue taking immediate actions to ensure that more is done to protect humanitarian aid workers,' he said, adding that IDF was 'sorry for the unintentional harm to the members of WCK'. He said the army 'shared in the grief' of the victims' loved ones, adding: 'We see great importance in the continued delivery of humanitarian aid, and we will keep working to facilitate this vital effort.'

Lt. Gen. Halevi revealed a probe has been launched into the incident in the coming days and said the conclusions of the independent investigation would be implemented immediately and shared with WCK and other ‘relevant’ international organisations. He said he has visited the new Humanitarian Command Center that was established on Tuesday to ‘improve the way we coordinate aid distribution in Gaza’. ‘We will continue taking immediate actions to ensure that more is done to protect humanitarian aid workers,’ he said, adding that IDF was ‘sorry for the unintentional harm to the members of WCK’. He said the army ‘shared in the grief’ of the victims’ loved ones, adding: ‘We see great importance in the continued delivery of humanitarian aid, and we will keep working to facilitate this vital effort.’

World Central Kitchen said it had coordinated with the Israeli military over the movement of its cars. Three vehicles that were moving at large distances apart were hit in succession. They were left incinerated and mangled, indicating multiple targeted strikes. At least one of the vehicles had the charity’s logo printed across its roof to make it identifiable from the air, and the ordnance punched a large hole through the roof. It is understood that the strike – which an Israeli military source has branded as an ‘intelligence failure’ – was carried out by drone via an operator with the 933 brigade that was based in Khan Yunis, The Telegraph reported. The strike reportedly would have been signed off by three individuals, including an intelligence officer, senior commander and military legal adviser.

Israeli security sources told Haaretz newspaper that IDF drones had trailed the food convoy and the army had reason to believe a Hamas operative was travelling with the group. Subsequent intelligence has since revealed that the terror suspect had stayed behind when the convoy left its warehouse in Deir Al-Balah, the insiders said. 'The armed man did not leave the warehouse,' the newspaper reported, citing defence sources. 'The cars travelled along a route preapproved and coordinated with the IDF.' The strikes on the charity's convoy highlighted what critics say is Israel's indiscriminate bombing and lack of regard for civilian casualties in Gaza. Israeli authorities blame Hamas for civilian deaths because the fighters operate in populated areas.

Israeli security sources told Haaretz newspaper that IDF drones had trailed the food convoy and the army had reason to believe a Hamas operative was travelling with the group. Subsequent intelligence has since revealed that the terror suspect had stayed behind when the convoy left its warehouse in Deir Al-Balah, the insiders said. ‘The armed man did not leave the warehouse,’ the newspaper reported, citing defence sources. ‘The cars travelled along a route preapproved and coordinated with the IDF.’ The strikes on the charity’s convoy highlighted what critics say is Israel’s indiscriminate bombing and lack of regard for civilian casualties in Gaza. Israeli authorities blame Hamas for civilian deaths because the fighters operate in populated areas.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that Israeli forces were to blame, saying the aid workers had been killed by an 'unintended strike'. He said officials were 'checking thoroughly' what had happened. Mr Netanyahu was last night under intense pressure to explain why the attack happened ¿ and to guarantee that there will be no further strikes against aid workers. Ships carrying 240 tonnes of food aid were yesterday reported to have turned back from Gaza in the wake of the bombing, adding to the humanitarian crisis in the narrow strip of land.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that Israeli forces were to blame, saying the aid workers had been killed by an ‘unintended strike’. He said officials were ‘checking thoroughly’ what had happened. Mr Netanyahu was last night under intense pressure to explain why the attack happened – and to guarantee that there will be no further strikes against aid workers. Ships carrying 240 tonnes of food aid were yesterday reported to have turned back from Gaza in the wake of the bombing, adding to the humanitarian crisis in the narrow strip of land.

Rishi Sunak last night told Mr Netanyahu he was 'appalled by the killing of aid workers'. In a phone conversation the Prime Minister demanded a 'thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened'. Downing Street said Mr Sunak told the Israeli PM that the situation was becoming 'increasingly intolerable' and that 'far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza'. A No 10 spokesman said: 'The UK expects to see immediate action by Israel to end restrictions on humanitarian aid, deconflict with the UN and aid agencies, protect civilians and repair vital infrastructure like hospitals and water networks. 'The Prime Minister reiterated that Israel's rightful aim of defeating Hamas would not be achieved by allowing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.' For weeks the Foreign Office has been considering whether Israel has broken international law and has threatened to cut off arms supplies to the country. Calls have now emerged for intelligence sharing to be scaled back if UK legal advice concludes Israel has fallen short of its requirement to demonstrate a commitment to international law, according to The Telegraph.

Rishi Sunak last night told Mr Netanyahu he was ‘appalled by the killing of aid workers’. In a phone conversation the Prime Minister demanded a ‘thorough and transparent independent investigation into what happened’. Downing Street said Mr Sunak told the Israeli PM that the situation was becoming ‘increasingly intolerable’ and that ‘far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza’. A No 10 spokesman said: ‘The UK expects to see immediate action by Israel to end restrictions on humanitarian aid, deconflict with the UN and aid agencies, protect civilians and repair vital infrastructure like hospitals and water networks. ‘The Prime Minister reiterated that Israel’s rightful aim of defeating Hamas would not be achieved by allowing a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.’ For weeks the Foreign Office has been considering whether Israel has broken international law and has threatened to cut off arms supplies to the country. Calls have now emerged for intelligence sharing to be scaled back if UK legal advice concludes Israel has fallen short of its requirement to demonstrate a commitment to international law, according to The Telegraph.

Alicia Kearns, chairwoman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, has said that there must be a 'thorough and swift' investigation into the airstrike. She added: 'There is also still no explanation for the bombing of the Medical Aid for Palestine complex in a safe zone, which had also been deconflicted directly with the IDF in January, which four British doctors fortunately survived. 'Humanitarian agencies must be given the assurances they need that their people will be protected.' She also told the newspaper that a 'determination that Israel is not demonstrating a commitment to international humanitarian law would have implications for our intelligence-sharing, alongside arms sales.' Similarly, Lord David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, told his Israeli counterpart that the attack was 'completely unacceptable'. Israel's ambassador to the UK was also summoned to the Foreign Office for a dressing down. In a strongly worded statement, Sir Keir Starmer said the attack was 'outrageous and unacceptable', adding: 'This war must stop now.'

Alicia Kearns, chairwoman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, has said that there must be a ‘thorough and swift’ investigation into the airstrike. She added: ‘There is also still no explanation for the bombing of the Medical Aid for Palestine complex in a safe zone, which had also been deconflicted directly with the IDF in January, which four British doctors fortunately survived. ‘Humanitarian agencies must be given the assurances they need that their people will be protected.’ She also told the newspaper that a ‘determination that Israel is not demonstrating a commitment to international humanitarian law would have implications for our intelligence-sharing, alongside arms sales.’ Similarly, Lord David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, told his Israeli counterpart that the attack was ‘completely unacceptable’. Israel’s ambassador to the UK was also summoned to the Foreign Office for a dressing down. In a strongly worded statement, Sir Keir Starmer said the attack was ‘outrageous and unacceptable’, adding: ‘This war must stop now.’

Some Labour MPs demanded an immediate end to arms sales to Israel. Former shadow justice secretary and Left-winger Richard Burgon said the UK had licensed almost £500million worth of arms sales to Israel and suggested this was 'the latest incident where UK military exports may have been used in attacks on British nationals'. The SNP has also demanded that any legal advice given to the Government on whether Israel has broken international law be released. Ben Saul, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counterterror, has warned the killing of WCK workers could be a war crime . He told The Telegraph: 'It's a human tragedy. But, of course, it could well be a violation of international humanitarian law, under which Israel has a duty not to deliberately target humanitarian relief workers or their convoys or their relief consignments.' Prof Saul argued that Israel has a 'wider duty' to ensure the safety of aid workers and their 'freedom of movement', and to 'coordinate with them so that these kinds of tragedies never happen'.

Some Labour MPs demanded an immediate end to arms sales to Israel. Former shadow justice secretary and Left-winger Richard Burgon said the UK had licensed almost £500million worth of arms sales to Israel and suggested this was ‘the latest incident where UK military exports may have been used in attacks on British nationals’. The SNP has also demanded that any legal advice given to the Government on whether Israel has broken international law be released. Ben Saul, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counterterror, has warned the killing of WCK workers could be a war crime . He told The Telegraph: ‘It’s a human tragedy. But, of course, it could well be a violation of international humanitarian law, under which Israel has a duty not to deliberately target humanitarian relief workers or their convoys or their relief consignments.’ Prof Saul argued that Israel has a ‘wider duty’ to ensure the safety of aid workers and their ‘freedom of movement’, and to ‘coordinate with them so that these kinds of tragedies never happen’.

Mr Henderson, 33, had served in the Royal Marines for six years. Mr Chapman, 57, is also thought to have served in the Special Boat Squadron, part of the UK's Special Forces. The third man was named last night by the BBC as James Kirby. He is understood to be an Army veteran. All three were working for a private firm providing security to the aid convoy. They died alongside American-Canadian dual citizen Jacob Flickinger, 33, Australian national Lalzawmi 'Zomi' Frankcom, 43, who was the leader of the relief team, Polish national Damian Sobol, 35, and Palestinian Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 25. Whitehall sources last night acknowledged that the 'horrendous' attack would make it harder for the Government to maintain its steadfast support for Israel's operation in Gaza. One insider said: 'This sort of thing just cannot be allowed to happen. We have shown support for Israel but that is contingent on them conducting themselves in a certain way, including acting in line with international humanitarian law.'

Mr Henderson, 33, had served in the Royal Marines for six years. Mr Chapman, 57, is also thought to have served in the Special Boat Squadron, part of the UK’s Special Forces. The third man was named last night by the BBC as James Kirby. He is understood to be an Army veteran. All three were working for a private firm providing security to the aid convoy. They died alongside American-Canadian dual citizen Jacob Flickinger, 33, Australian national Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom, 43, who was the leader of the relief team, Polish national Damian Sobol, 35, and Palestinian Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 25. Whitehall sources last night acknowledged that the ‘horrendous’ attack would make it harder for the Government to maintain its steadfast support for Israel’s operation in Gaza. One insider said: ‘This sort of thing just cannot be allowed to happen. We have shown support for Israel but that is contingent on them conducting themselves in a certain way, including acting in line with international humanitarian law.’

Israel was under mounting pressure last night to explain why its forces had targeted a respected charity whose staff were travelling in clearly marked vehicles. Three missiles from a single drone hit the three vehicles one by one. Shocking pictures from the scene showed that one missile had punched straight through the prominently displayed logo of the charity on the roof of an armoured vehicle. The convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where workers had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza by sea. The WCK said it had co-ordinated the movement of its team in Gaza in advance with the Israeli Defence Forces. WCK chief executive Erin Gore described it as a 'targeted attack' designed to deter aid agencies working in Gaza ¿ which has been subjected to months of bombardment following the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel. She said she was 'heartbroken and appalled', adding: 'This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.' Deliberate attacks on civilians, including aid workers, are considered a war crime.

Israel was under mounting pressure last night to explain why its forces had targeted a respected charity whose staff were travelling in clearly marked vehicles. Three missiles from a single drone hit the three vehicles one by one. Shocking pictures from the scene showed that one missile had punched straight through the prominently displayed logo of the charity on the roof of an armoured vehicle. The convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where workers had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza by sea. The WCK said it had co-ordinated the movement of its team in Gaza in advance with the Israeli Defence Forces. WCK chief executive Erin Gore described it as a ‘targeted attack’ designed to deter aid agencies working in Gaza – which has been subjected to months of bombardment following the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel. She said she was ‘heartbroken and appalled’, adding: ‘This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.’ Deliberate attacks on civilians, including aid workers, are considered a war crime.

Israel last night faced condemnation from around the world. Poland , Australia and Canada demanded answers from Israel about the deaths of their citizens. Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese demanded 'full accountability' from Israel over the death of aid worker Lalzawmi Frankcom who was killed in the convoy. US President Joe Biden was 'heartbroken', his press secretary said. Mr Sunak said the aid workers were 'doing fantastic work.... They need to be allowed to do that work unhindered and it is incumbent on Israel to make sure they can do that'. Last night protesters led by families of Israeli hostages and anti-government groups marched on the PM's residence in Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu said: 'Unfortunately over the last day there was a tragic incident of an unintended strike of our forces on innocent people in the Gaza Strip.' He said officials were 'checking this thoroughly' but added: 'It happens in war... and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again.' The IDF expressed its 'deepest condolences' to the families of the aid workers, and said it was 'reviewing the incident at the highest levels'.

Israel last night faced condemnation from around the world. Poland , Australia and Canada demanded answers from Israel about the deaths of their citizens. Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese demanded ‘full accountability’ from Israel over the death of aid worker Lalzawmi Frankcom who was killed in the convoy. US President Joe Biden was ‘heartbroken’, his press secretary said. Mr Sunak said the aid workers were ‘doing fantastic work…. They need to be allowed to do that work unhindered and it is incumbent on Israel to make sure they can do that’. Last night protesters led by families of Israeli hostages and anti-government groups marched on the PM’s residence in Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu said: ‘Unfortunately over the last day there was a tragic incident of an unintended strike of our forces on innocent people in the Gaza Strip.’ He said officials were ‘checking this thoroughly’ but added: ‘It happens in war… and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again.’ The IDF expressed its ‘deepest condolences’ to the families of the aid workers, and said it was ‘reviewing the incident at the highest levels’.

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