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At least five aid workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, said the Hamas-run government’s media office on Monday, as per a Reuters report. 

In a statement, Hamas said that the aid workers included nationals from Britain, Australia, Poland “with the fourth nationality not known” and the fifth person was a Palestinian driver and translator, reported news agency AFP.

Earlier, the health ministry run by Hamas in the coastal strip said that the bodies of four foreign aid workers and their Palestinian driver were brought to the hospital in central Gaza’s Deir el-Balah after an Israeli strike targeted their vehicle. 

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Hamas said that the attack aimed to “terrorise” workers from international humanitarian agencies and deter them from pursuing their missions. 

The non-governmental organisation, the World Central Kitchen (WCK) took to social media platform X to say, “We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza,” adding that “this is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defence Forces said it is “conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.” 

The Israeli military said it had been “working closely with WCK” in the effort to provide aid to Palestinians. 

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“The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with WCK in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,” it said in a statement, reported Reuters. 

The AFP report stated that its correspondent saw five bodies with three foreign passports lying nearby in the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah.

Commenting on the development, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was “urgently seeking to confirm reports that an Australian aid worker has died in Gaza. These reports are very distressing.”

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