UN launches investigation after staff member killed in Gaza

A former Indian Army officer sadly passed away this week as a result of an unidentified strike on a car belonging to the organization

The UN has announced an investigation into a strike on a car in Rafah in southern Gaza this week that killed its first international staff member in the Israel-Hamas conflict, Reuters reports.
The staffer, a retired Indian Army officer named Waibhav Anil Kale, died and his colleague was injured as they traveled in a UN vehicle to the European Hospital in Rafah on Monday. Both were members of the UN Department of Safety and Security.
The UN has set up a fact-finding panel to determine the responsibility for the attack, the secretary-general’s deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, was cited as telling reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s very early in the investigation, and details of the incident are still being verified with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF),” he said, noting there are currently 71 international UN staff members in Gaza.
According to another spokesman for the UN secretary-general, cited by the Washington Post, the shots that killed the worker “came from a tank” in an area where only Israel operates armored vehicles in Gaza. The car was reportedly marked with a UN flag, and Israeli authorities had been informed of its movements.
The IDF said on Monday that it had not been made aware of the route of the vehicle, adding that the incident was “under review.”
Following the incident, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated an “urgent appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and for the release of all hostages,” saying the conflict in Gaza is continuing to take a heavy toll “not only on civilians, but also on humanitarian workers.”

The UN Palestine refugee agency UNRWA reported separately on Monday that another of its staff members had sadly passed away over the weekend, bringing the total number of staff killed in Gaza to 188.
According to UNRWA, some 450,000 people have fled Rafah in recent days, as Israeli forces have been pushing deeper into the city where more than a million civilians had sought refuge. The Israeli military insists Rafah is a Hamas stronghold and that it needs to attack the city to eliminate them.
Israel declared war on Hamas in Gaza following the militant group’s deadly October 7 incursion, which claimed over 1,100 lives and saw hundreds of Israelis taken hostage.
Over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed and 78,755 wounded as a result of Israeli’s subsequent offensive in Gaza, according to the health authorities in the enclave.