First international UN employee killed in Israeli strike

A UN spokesperson revealed that a security services member was killed in an Israeli attack on a vehicle in Gaza on May 13th, marking the first international UN employee killed in the territory since the war began, the New Arab and agencies reported. 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a United Nations Department of Safety and Security (DSS) staff member and injury to another DSS staffer when their UN vehicle was struck as they traveled to the European Hospital in Rafah,” said his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq.

Haq also noted the approximate 190 Palestinian UN employees that have been killed — mainly staff of the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA).

Israel has repeatedly been accused of targeting aid workers. On April 3rd, seven employees of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) — a UN-based NGO dedicated to feeding those in the midst of conflict — were killed in an Israeli airstrike. 

READ: Violent Israeli protestors close UNRWA headquarters

Israel even went as far as to accuse UNRWA of being directly involved in the attacks on October 7th — a claim that an April 22nd report proved was baseless. 

“I don’t have the full details of whether this was part of a large convoy or not,” said Haq. “I believe it was in a convoy that was moving, and this was the DSS vehicle that was hit.” 

The DSS oversees the security of UN agencies and programmes in over 130 countries.

On May 14th, the Israeli military claimed that the vehicle hit was in an “active combat zone.” “An initial inquiry conducted indicates that the vehicle was hit in an area declared an active combat zone,” their statement read, claiming that it had “not been made aware of the route of the vehicle.”

“The Secretary-General condemns all attacks on UN personnel and calls for a full investigation,” said Haq. The nationality of the casualty was not disclosed. 

Consequently, the military added that “the incident is under review.” 

The New Arab and agencies

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