Updated May 15th, 2024 at 11:37 IST

'Deeply Saddened By Tragic Death': Israel on Indian UN Veteran's Death In Gaza

Israel has expressed sadness over the veterans tragic death of retired Indian army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale in Gaza.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Waibhav Anil Kale took premature retirement from the Indian Army in 2022. | Image:LinkedIn/Waibhav Anil Kale
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Tel Aviv: Days after a former Indian Army officer working with the United Nations was killed in Gaza, Israel has expressed sadness over the veterans tragic death. Condoling retired Indian army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale's death, Israel said, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic death in Rafah of an Indian  working for the UN. Our deepest condolences to his family. The circumstances of the event are still being investigated, and will be shared upon completion."

Earlier in the day, the United Nations condoled Colonel Kale's death and apologised to India. UN Chief Guterres had expressed his sadness on learning about Kale’s death and injury to the other DSS staffer and condemned all attacks on UN personnel, calling for a full investigation. Guterres sent his condolences to the family of the fallen staff member.

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‘First international casualty’

Apologising to India for the incident, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said, "We also express our apologies and our condolences to the Government and people of India. We appreciate the contribution that India has made." Haq said the UN has established a fact-finding panel to look into the deadly attack.

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“It's very early in the investigation, and details of the incident are still being verified with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF),” Haq added.

Haq said that a weapon appears to have impacted the back of the white UN vehicle that was carrying the two UN staff members, killing Kale and injuring the other DSS female staff member who is receiving medical attention and “we believe that she will make it through.”

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Haq confirmed that this was the “first international casualty” for the UN in Gaza and added that currently, the world body has 71 international staff in Gaza.

Who was Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale?

Colonel Kale, 46, who retired prematurely from the Indian Army in 2022, was killed Monday when his UN-marked vehicle came under attack in Rafah, marking the first casualty among the organisation’s international staff in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas conflict began in October last year. He along with another DSS staffer were travelling to the European Hospital in war-torn Rafah in Gaza on Monday morning.

Colonel Kale had joined the world body as a Security Coordination Officer in the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) two months ago. Kale, who had commanded the 11 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles in Kashmir, is the "first international casualty" for the world body since the Israel-Hamas conflict started last year.

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Published May 15th, 2024 at 11:37 IST