Javed Akhtar slams Israel after ex-Indian Army officer gets killed in Gaza: ‘He was there to bring peace’ | Mint – Mint

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Screenwriter and poet Javed Akhtar on Wednesday slammed Israel after retired Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale was killed in war-torn Rafah in Gaza. The retired Indian Army officer joined the United Nations as a Security Coordination Officer in the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) two months ago. Notably, this is the ‘first international casualty’ for the world body since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Also Read: ‘To arrive at a lasting solution…’: India condemns humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid Israel-Hamas war

Slamming Israel for its attack on Gaza, Javed Akhtar wrote on X, “Retired colonel Waibhav Anil Kale working with UN in Rafah was Killed while going in the UN car to European hospital . That shows how indiscreet Israel ‘s attacks are but they are not answerable to any one . At the most there will a formal apology to our government and that’all . My heartfelt condolences to col kale’s wife and two daughters. He was there to help bring peace.”


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Also Read: Fighting flares across Gaza amid push to revive Israel-Hamas talks

Earlier in the day, Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urging him to condemn the killing of the former Indian Army officer in Gaza.

“It is shocking that a retired Indian Army colonel was killed by Israel in Gaza and the shameless Modi Govt hasn’t uttered a single word,” Gokhale said in a post on X, where he shared the letter written to the External Affairs Minister.

Also Read: Gaza war: ‘There would be ceasefire tomorrow if…’, US President Joe Biden’s message for Hamas

Investigations initiated in the attack

After the killing of the former Indian Army officer, the United Nations has called for a full investigation into the matter. Moreover, Israel has also ordered a separate investigation into the attack, reported PTI. Col Waibhav Anil Kale took premature retirement from the Indian Army in 2022. He had joined the UN earlier this year. The United Nations has condoled and expressed apologies to India over Kale’s killing. 

According to the news agency PTI, the former Indian Army officer’s UN vehicle came under heavy firing, believed to be from an Israeli tank. The attack also injured another DSS staffer as they travelled to the European Hospital in Rafah on Monday morning. 

Also Read: Paulo Coelho shares heartbreaking picture of Mother’s Day in Gaza

“We also express our apologies and our condolences to the Government and people of India,” Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said at the daily press briefing on Tuesday in response to a question by PTI.

“We appreciate the contribution that India has made,” he said.

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

The white UN vehicle carrying Kale and another DSS female staff member was damaged after the weapon attacked it from behind, said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, while confirming that this was the “first international casualty” for the UN in Gaza.


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Published: 15 May 2024, 12:07 PM IST

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