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NATO chief condemns Israeli killing of aid workers in Gaza

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This demonstrates ‘very serious consequences’ for innocent people, says Jens Stoltenberg.

The NATO secretary general on Wednesday condemned this week’s killing of seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip, but welcomed Israel’s initiative to launch investigation into the incident.

“What we see now in Gaza is humanitarian catastrophe. We see suffering, we see that civilians are killed, and we also saw the strike against aid workers and I condemn the strike,” Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference in Brussels where foreign ministers of the defense alliance have gathered for a meeting.

The NATO chief said he welcomed the fact that Israel has made sure it will investigate what happened.

The workers from World Central Kitchen, which feeds people in disaster and war zones, were killed in an Israeli strike Monday in the Gaza Strip. The victims were nationals of Australia, Poland, the UK, Palestine, as well as a US-Canada dual citizen. The NGO has since paused its operations in the region.

Stoltenberg said this shows “very serious consequences” for innocent people, not only people living in Gaza, but also aid workers.

He also welcomed the efforts by the allies including the US and UK to facilitate “some kind of cease-fire and a political solution.”

Israel has killed nearly 33,000 Palestinians since the Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border incursion by Hamas that claimed 1,200 lives.

While the enclave has turned to ruins, more than half of the 2.3 million population of Gaza is internally displaced and faces starvation.

‘This is a critical moment’

Touching on Ukraine, Stoltenberg said Ukraine can rely on NATO support now, and for the long haul.

“Today allies have agreed to move forward with planning for a greater NATO role in coordinating security assistance and training,” he added.

Saying that the Ukrainian people continue to defend their country with bravery, the NATO chief noted that they have shown time and time again that “they are capable.”

“Ukraine has recaptured half of the territory that Russia initially seized. In the Black Sea, Ukraine has pushed back the Russian fleet, enabling the continued export of grain to world markets,” he said.

Mentioning that “Ukrainians are not running out of courage, they are running out of ammunition,” Stoltenberg urged to step up to ensure their support is built to last. “All allies agree on the need to support Ukraine in this critical moment,” he added.

Stoltenberg said he will meet Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in the NATO-Ukraine Council on Thursday.

Russia launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, just over two years ago.

Source: Daily Sabah

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