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UN condemns killing of international staff member in Gaza

A UN international staff member was killed in an Israeli vehicle attack in the Gaza Strip on Monday, a UN spokesman said.

UN chief António Guterres “was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) staff member and the injury of another DSS staff member when their UN vehicle was hit while they were travelling to the European Hospital in Rafah,” deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

This is the “first international casualty” for the UN since the Israeli offensive in Gaza began on 7 October, Haq said. He recalled that some 190 Palestinian UN staff have been killed, mostly employees of the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA). Haq said:

The Secretary-General condemns all attacks on UN personnel and calls for a full investigation.

A spokesman did not immediately disclose the nationality of the slain man. He also added:

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

DSS monitors the security of UN agencies and programmes in more than 130 countries around the world.

The Israeli military said on Tuesday that the hit vehicle was in an “active combat zone” at the time. It said in a statement:

An initial inquiry conducted indicates that the vehicle was hit in an area declared an active combat zone. We had not been made aware of the route of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has criticised Israel on X:

Know anyone who will be in Athens on Wednesday (Nakbah day)? Let them know we have a great event planned: “EUROPEAN NAKBAH: How Europe is covering up Israel’s genocide.” With Clare Daly, Iris Hefetz, myself, MEP candidates from Germany, Italy & Greece.

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