Zomi Frankcom: Israeli investigation into aid workers’ death set for public release

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Australian diplomats in Israel have been briefed by the country’s military personnel regarding the death of an Australian aid worker.

Australian chef Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom was among seven aid workers killed when three vehicles, marked with the branding of international food relief organisation, World Central Kitchen, were struck by Israeli Defence Force drones whilst traversing Gaza.

Following the attack, the Israeli government launched an investigation into the attack, which Israel Defence Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said had now been completed.

“The independent investigation has been already presented to the ambassadors of the relevant nations, and we will be presenting them to the World Central Kitchen I expect tomorrow morning, and then we’ll be bringing them to the public as well,” Lt Col Lerner said.

The IDF spokesperson apologised for the incident, remarking that it was a “very grave mistake”, which was due to a “misidentification” of the vehicle.

Lt Col Lerner said the independent report would be made publicly available within 24 hours.

Following the airstrike, the charity insisted that it had notified the IDF of its operations, as it sought to redress the humanitarian crisis which has affected 1.7 million displaced residents inside the embattled enclave.

However, due to fears of a reprisal attack, the US based charity has since suspended operations in Gaza.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that the IDF was responsible for the attack.

“Unfortunately, in the last day, there was a tragic incident where our forces unintentionally struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip. It happens in war and we are thoroughly investigating it,” Mr Netanyahu said following the incident.

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese subsequently slammed Israel’s explanation for the attack, remarking that Mr Netanyahu’s comments were unacceptable.

“We need to have accountability for how it has occurred, and what is not good enough is the statements that have been made, including that this is just a product of war,” Mr Albanese told reporters at a news conference in Sydney.

“This is against humanitarian law – international humanitarian law makes it very clear that aid workers should be able to provide that aid and that assistance free of the threat of losing their life.”

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