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Arab League officials condemn Israel for airstrike that killed aid workers

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares speaks to Arab delegations during his visit at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, March 14, 2024.   -  
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Amr Nabil/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved


Representatives of the Arab League held an emergency meeting in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the war in Gaza, and the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.

The meeting comes after Israeli airstrikes on aid workers delivering food in Gaza killed at least seven people — a loss that prompted multiple charities to suspend food deliveries to Palestinians on the brink of starvation.

Hossam Zaki, the assistant secretary general at the Arab League, said the killing of the aid workers "was not a mistake as Israel claims, but it is a repeated pattern."

The deaths of the World Central Kitchen workers threatened to set back efforts by the U.S. and other countries to open a maritime corridor for aid from Cyprus to help ease the desperate conditions in northern Gaza.

The dead from Monday night's strikes included three British citizens, Polish and Australia nationals, a Canadian-American dual national and a Palestinian.

Those countries have been key backers of Israel's nearly 6-month-old offensive in Gaza, and several of them denounced the killings.

Throughout the war, Israel has said it seeks to avoid civilian casualties and uses sophisticated intelligence to target Hamas and other militants.

Israeli authorities blame them for civilian deaths because they operate in populated areas.

At the same time, Israel has also insisted that no target is off-limits.

Israeli forces have repeatedly struck ambulances and vehicles carrying aid, as well as relief organization offices and U.N. shelters, claiming that armed fighters were in them.

More than 32,900 Palestinians have been killed in the war, around two-thirds of them women and children, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its count.

The war began when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel in a surprise attack on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking around 250 hostage.

Israel responded with one of the deadliest and most destructive offensives in recent history.

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