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Family of UK aid worker killed by Israel are ‘utterly heartbroken’

The family of British aid worker James Kirby, who was killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza, are “utterly heartbroken” by his death.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has today called for Israel’s investigation into the strike that killed three British aid workers in Gaza to happen “very quickly”.

Three British aid workers were killed in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike – in what the IDF has called a “grave mistake”.

John Chapman, James Kirby and James Henderson were among seven volunteers from World Central Kitchen who died after a convoy they were travelling in was hit.

Middle East latest: Israel admits ‘mistake’

A statement released by Mr Kirby’s family said: “As a family, we are utterly heartbroken by the loss of our beloved James.

“Alongside the other six individuals who tragically lost their lives, he will be remembered as a hero.

“James understood the dangers of venturing into Gaza, drawing from his experiences in the British Armed Forces, where he bravely served tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

“Despite the risks, his compassionate nature drove him to offer assistance to those in dire need.

“A genuine gentleman, James was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone, even in the face of senseless violence.

“We kindly request privacy during this incredibly difficult time as we mourn the loss of our dear James.”

Speaking from Brussels as he attended a NATO meeting, Lord Cameron said: “We should also send our condolences to their families, and our thoughts should be with them.”

David Cameron in Brussels. Pic: AP
Image: David Cameron in Brussels. Pic: AP

He added: “I welcome what the Israeli foreign minister said yesterday to me about a full, urgent and transparent inquiry into how this dreadful event was allowed to happen, and we want to see that happen very quickly.”

“I also welcome the fact he spoke about much more aid getting into Gaza, up to 500 trucks a day.

“That is essential, we have been promised these things before, and it really needs to happen, including longer opening times at the vital crossing points.

“But, of course, the extra aid won’t work unless there is proper deconfliction, unless aid can be taken around Gaza, and we avoid the dreadful incidents like we have seen in the last couple of days.

“That is vital, and Britain will be watching very closely to make sure that that happens.”

Australian Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom also died in the attack – along with Palestinian national Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, Damian Sobol from Poland, and dual US-Canadian citizen Jacob Flickinger.

The three British nationals were part of the charity workers’ security team.

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In the wake of the incident, the Liberal Democrats have called for the UK to suspend its arms deals with Israel.

The party’s leader, Sir Ed Davey, said: “Clearly, the thought that British-made arms could have been used in strikes such as these is completely unacceptable.

“The government must take swift action to suspend arms exports to Israel. We must redouble our efforts to secure an immediate bilateral ceasefire”.

Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury told Sky News this morning: “Aid workers must be protected. They should not be killed in these ways.

“And that’s why in the very first instance, questions need to be answered about how this could have happened in the first place. That’s the least the families should be given.”

Sky News Source