14 May 2024

Israel-Hamas Conflict: Former Indian Army personnel working in UN killed in attack in Gaza

The United Nations has confirmed the tragic incident in Gaza, reporting the loss of one staff member and the injury of another while they were on way to a hospital in southern Gaza. The deceased staff member has been identified as Colonel Vaibhav Kale, who served in the UN Department of Safety and Security. The Indian Mission at the United Nations has expressed deep sorrow over Colonel Kale's demise.

According to the United Nations, the staff members were traveling in a UN vehicle towards the European Hospital near Rafah when the attack occurred. The details surrounding the attack remain unclear, with the UN refraining from attributing responsibility at this time.

“The secretary-general was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a United Nations Department of Safety and Security (DSS) staff member and injury to another DSS staffer when their UN vehicle was struck as they travelled to the European Hospital in Rafah this morning,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN secretary-general said on Monday.

UN secretary-general expresses condolences

UN secretary-general António Guterres expressed his condolences and condemnation of the attack. He stressed the urgent need to protect humanitarian workers.

“Today a UN vehicle was struck in Gaza, killing one of our colleagues & injuring another. More than 190 UN staff have been killed in Gaza.Humanitarian workers must be protected,” Guterres said in an X post.

He stressed the need to safeguard the lives of UN personnel who are providing aid and assistance in conflict zones.

MEA extends condolences

India's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that we are deeply saddened by the death of Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd.), Security Coordination Officer in the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in Gaza on 13 May 2024. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and dear ones.

Our Permanent Mission to the UN in New York and our Missions in Tel Aviv and Ramallah are extending all assistance in the repatriation of mortal remains to India and continue to be in touch with relevant authorities regarding the investigation into the incident.

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