Gaza conflict: Foreign Office urgently investigating reports of British aid worker death

 

The Foreign Office was tonight investigating reports that a British aid worker was killed this weekend in Gaza while delivering medical supplies.

The man, named on social media as Kadir Islam, was claimed to have died in an air strike on the town of Rafah after arriving with one of a number of convoys bringing medical aid into the Occupied Territory.

The Foreign Office said it was “urgently” trying to establish the accuracy of the claimed death of a British national, which could not be independently verified this evening.

Friends posting on Twitter said that Mr Islam originated from London but had recently been based in the Great Manchester area as a student. He was said to have died in a convoy as it drove to a hospital or UN facility in Rafah.

An Israeli missile strike close to the entrance of a United Nations school in Rafah on Sunday, in which 10 people were killed on Sunday, was condemned as a “criminal act” by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Israel said it had been targeting three militants from Islamic Jihad riding a motorbike near the school.

Prime Minister David Cameron underlined that the Government was determined to establish whether the reports of a British fatality were correct.

Speaking on a visit to the Loos Cemetery in northern France to commemorate the start of the First World War, Mr Cameron said: “I’m extremely concerned about these reports and we are doing everything we can to get to the bottom of them and find out exactly what has happened.

“I don’t want to say anything before we’ve been able to do that but this only reinforces the need for an immediate unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, observed properly by both sides. This slaughter, this killing, has got to end.”

Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said a partial ceasefire in Gaza was welcome but said the alleged death of a British aid worker served to show that “suffering continues”.

If confirmed, the death of Mr Islam, also known as “Kadz”, would make him the first foreign aid worker or volunteer to have died in the ongoing bombardment.

While Gaza has been effectively cut off during the military operation, convoys of medical supplies have been allowed to cross the border from Israel into Gaza.

Nine Palestinian staff - six of them teachers - with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) in Gaza have been killed since hostilities began in the Occupied Territory last month.

Health officials in Gaza said 1,868 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and nearly 10,000 injured since Israel’s Operation Protective Edge began four weeks ago. A total of 67 Israelis, all but three of them soldiers, have died. A Thai national working in Israel was also killed by a Hamas rocket.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced that the UK is to provide an extra £2 million in emergency assistance to help provide mattresses, blankets, nappies, cooking equipment and other essential supplies for nearly 8,000 families who have fled the conflict in Gaza.

The cash will be contributed to UNRWA’s Gaza appeal. It brings the UK’s aid funding for Gaza up to £15 million in the last two weeks.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent