DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (NEWSnet/AP) — An airstrike killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen, leading the charity to suspend delivery Tuesday of vital food aid to Gaza.

Cyprus said ships that recently arrived were turning back, carrying 240 tons of undelivered aid. 

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the country's forces had conducted the “unintended strike" on “innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” He says officials are “checking this thoroughly” and “will do everything for this not to happen again.”

Those killed include three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen and a Palestinian, according to hospital records.

The charity said the team was traveling in a three-car convoy that included two armored vehicles, and its movements had been coordinated with the Israel army.

World Central Kitchen, a food charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, was key to the recently opened sea route, which offered some hope for northern Gaza. United Nations says much of the population is on the brink of starvation.

Andrés said he is “heartbroken” by the deaths of his colleagues.

“The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon,” he wrote on X.

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said Tuesday that ship deliveries would continue. Israel has barred UNRWA, the main U.N. agency in Gaza, from making deliveries to the north, and other aid groups say sending truck convoys north has been extremely difficult because of the military’s failure to either grant permission or ensure safe passage.

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