Senior UN, Indian embassy, Israeli govt officials pay homage to ex-Indian Army officer killed in Gaza

Senior officials from the Indian Embassy here, the United Nations, and the Israel government on Friday paid their last respects to the mortal remains of former Indian Army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale who was killed in Gaza.
Last respects to the mortal remains of former Indian Army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale
Last respects to the mortal remains of former Indian Army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale

Tel Aviv | Senior officials from the Indian Embassy here, the United Nations, and the Israel government on Friday paid their last respects to the mortal remains of former Indian Army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale who was killed in Gaza.

Kale, 46, was killed, and another staffer from the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) from Jordan was injured when their UN-marked vehicle was struck when they were travelling to the European Hospital in war-torn Rafah in Gaza on Monday morning.

His mortal remains are on their final journey to India, the Indian Embassy posted on X.

"Embassy officials joined by senior officials from @IsraelMFA, @IDF @UNDSS and other UN organisations paid their last respects to the mortal remains of Col. Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd.), who lost his life in Gaza," it said, posting some photographs from the event.

Colonel Kale, who retired prematurely from the Indian Army in 2022, 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.

The United Nations had condoled and expressed apologies to India over his killing.

“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.

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

Haq said the UN has established a fact-finding panel to look into the deadly attack. The Permanent Mission of India to the UN had said in a post on X that it is “deeply saddened” by the loss of Col Waibhav Kale. “Our deepest condolences are with the family during this difficult time,” the mission said.

UN chief Guterres had also expressed sadness to learn of 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.

“With the conflict in Gaza continuing to take a heavy toll - not only on civilians but also on humanitarian workers - the Secretary-General reiterates his urgent appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of all hostages,” Guterres said.

He said that more than 190 UN staff have been killed in Gaza.

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