Airstrike Killed Aid Workers In Gaza

Australia To Appoint 'Special Adviser' To Review Israel's Probe

International Desk

Published: 06 Apr 2024, 11:09 am

Collected Photo.

Collected Photo.

Australia plans to designate a "special adviser" to oversee a thorough inquiry into an Israeli airstrike that killed seven aid workers, including an Aussie, according to media reports Friday. Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong are set to inform their Israeli counterparts of the decision to appoint a special adviser to oversee the investigation, ensuring alignment with Australia's expectations, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

The adviser, possessing expertise in military and humanitarian law, will soon be named and Australia will insist on the preservation of evidence about the attack, according to ABC.

Israel has briefed Australia on its swift inquiry into the attack on a humanitarian convoy in Gaza, which killed Zomi Frankcom and six World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers.

The Australian government previously outlined its expectations that if the investigation uncovered violations of legal or military protocols by Israeli military personnel, appropriate actions should be taken and made transparent.

The Israeli military announced Friday that it fired two officers and reprimanded three others following an investigation into the attack in Gaza that killed the aid workers. Tel Aviv said the attack was a “serious mistake.”

The WCK on Friday demanded the creation of an independent commission to investigate the killings of its aid workers, adding that Israel “cannot credibly investigate its own failure in Gaza.”

Response Not Sufficient

Information from Israel "hasn't yet satisfied our expectations," ABC quoted Wong.

"Australia is concerned by initial advice from the (Israeli) Ministry for Foreign Affairs that those responsible for commissioning and implementing the operation that killed Ms Frankcom and her colleagues have not been stood down while the investigation is undertaken," Wong said before Israel's announcement.

"We are also alarmed by initial comments that this was an accident and that such incidents happen in a war,” she said.

"These responses suggest the gravity of the death of seven humanitarian workers is yet to be appreciated by the Israeli government," Wong noted.

Wong’s statements came in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks in which he acknowledged his government's responsibility for the incident but characterized it as "unintentional" and something that "happens in war.”

Since Israel launched its brutal war on Gaza on Oct. 7, more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed and 75,750 injured, according to Gaza’s health authorities.

More than 200 aid workers have been killed during the war, according to figures from the Aid Worker Security Database, which is funded by US development funds, said the New York Times._Anadolu 

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