<div>‘Anger and concern’: PM urges Israeli leader to investigate aid workers’ deaths</div>

‘Anger and concern’: PM urges Israeli leader to investigate aid workers’ deaths

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the death of seven aid workers, including an Australian, in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.

Melbourne-born Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom was among the seven World Central Kitchen workers killed in the airstrike.

As well as Frankcom, those killed include three British nationals, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen and a Palestinian.

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“I expressed Australia’s anger and concern at the death of Zomi Frankcom,” Albanese said this morning.

“This is someone who was volunteering overseas to provide aid through this charity. This is completely unacceptable.”

He said there was a “strong need” for a transparent investigation into what led to the airstrike.

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“Prime Minister Netanyahu has committed to full transparency about how this tragedy could possibly have occurred,” Albanese said.

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Other world leaders, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden, have also expressed their horror at the airstrike.

“(Frankcom) is an Australian who we can all be proud of, someone who not only was in Gaza assisting people in need, but had in the past provided support for people in Bangladesh, in Pakistan, here in Australia after the bushfires,” Albanese said.

“This was someone who was clearly committed to benefit her fellow humanity, and someone who is – whose loss is very deeply felt by her family, but I think felt by Australians as well.”

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Albanese said he had also reiterated to Netanyahu Australia’s support for a two-state situation in the region, for aid to reach Palestinians unimpeded, and concerns over a potential ground assault in Rafah, where many refugees have gathered.

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“I reiterated Australia’s condemnation unequivocally of the events of October 7 and of Hamas as a terrorist organisation,” he said.

Netanyahu has publicly acknowledged that the airstrike which killed the aid workers was launched by Israeli forces.

“Unfortunately, in the last 24 hours there was a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said, according to the BBC, in a message delivered in Hebrew.

“It happens in war, we check it to the end, we are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again.”

Albanese said the incident would likely add to ongoing global concern about the civilian casualties of Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas.

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“I think people, when they look at what is happening in Gaza, are very clear about the extraordinary loss of life which is there, and I believe that Australians are very concerned about that,” he said.

Albanese said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was working on the retrieval of Frankcom’s body.

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