In its ongoing war on Gaza, Israel has killed seven humanitarian aid workers, including six foreign nationals, and continued to inflict damage on vital civilian infrastructure. Reports indicate that Australian, Polish, UK, and Palestinian aid workers were among the six killed in an Israeli attack following the delivery of food relief in central Gaza’s Deir el-Balah. The aid workers were attached to World Central Kitchen. The US-based aid group has condemned the attack urging Israel to halt what they describe as “indiscriminate killing” in Gaza.

Celebrity chef Jose Andres, the founder of World Central Kitchen, expressed deep sorrow and sympathy for the families and friends of those killed in the attack on the aid convoy. On social media, he called on the Israeli government “to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon. No more innocent lives lost. Peace starts with our shared humanity. It needs to start now.”

The killing of the aid workers drew concern from the US National Security Council (NSC), which urged Israel to swiftly investigate the matter. NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson emphasised the importance of protecting humanitarian aid workers.

More than 200 aid workers, mostly Palestinians, have been killed by Israeli forces, marking it as the deadliest ever war for humanitarian workers.

Israel has been widely accused of using starvation as a weapon of war as it continues to target aid workers and block the entry of essential aid into Gaza, where the population faces the threat of famine.

Several aid organisation have suspended their operations in Gaza following the latest Israeli attack.

In addition to the targeting of the aid workers, Israeli forces killed 71 Palestinians and wounded 102 in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

Since 7 October, Israel has killed at least 32,916 Palestinians and wounded 75,494 in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) say Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital lies in ruins after Israeli troops withdrew from the complex following a two-week raid.

“Destroying al-Shifa means ripping the heart out of the health system,” stated WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris. She emphasised, “It was the place people go to for the kind of care that a really good health system provides, that we in all our societies expect to have should we be in need.”

Israel withdrew from the hospital on Monday after weeks of attacks that left hundreds of patients and medical staff trapped inside. Witnesses reported finding decomposing bodies under the wrecked hospital, and civilians were deliberately targeted by Israeli forces in and around the facility.

Apart from Gaza, Israel has also bombing Lebanon and Syria. A suspect Israeli strike hit the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus on Monday, killing 13 people, including a senior IRGC commander. The official says the attack was in retaliation for Israel’s failure to achieve its objectives in Gaza.

The UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has condemned the attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus.

In a statement issued through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, the secretary general “reaffirms that the principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel must be respected in all cases in accordance with international law.”

Iran has vowed to punish Israel for the attack.