Türkiye’s communications director calls for accountability over Israeli killing of aid workers

Türkiye’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Tuesday condemned Israel’s killing in Gaza of aid workers belonging to the US-based charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) and called for accountability.

“Israel shamelessly continues its genocidal acts and violates international humanitarian law as the world fails to protect innocent Palestinians,” Altun said on X.

“Yet another Israeli attack killed international aid workers who were trying to alleviate the human suffering in Gaza. Türkiye extends its deepest condolences to the families of WCK aid workers and condemns this brutal attack,” he added.

The communication director said that “grave” human rights violations, “which have left a deep imprint in our collective memory must stop.”

“Israel should be held accountable for its war crimes,” he said.

“Humanitarian aid access to the Gaza Strip, where food is being used as a weapon of war, is urgent to prevent the looming famine in Gaza. The works of humanitarian workers in Gaza reflect the resilience of human conscience in the face of Israel’s atrocities and they will always be remembered,” he concluded.

Earlier, WCK confirmed that its seven humanitarian aid workers were killed in Monday’s Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip.

“The WCK team was traveling in a deconflicted zone in two armored cars branded with the WCK logo and a soft skin vehicle,” the WCK said in a statement.

Despite coordinating movements with the Israeli army, it added, that the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route.

“This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore.

The seven killed are from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

Over 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,300 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which on Thursday asked Tel Aviv to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.