Family members of Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale (Retd) during his last rites in Pune

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were responsible for the death of former Indian Army officer Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale in Gaza last week, Palestine Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa said in letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

In the letters dated May 16, Mr. Mustafa called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza to save lives and end the bloodshed that he described as a “war of genocide”.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences over the tragic killing of the Indian officer, Mr. Waibhav Anil Kale, by the Israeli Army. Mr. Kale was serving as a UN Staffer in Gaza and was killed in an attack on his UN-marked vehicle in the Rafah region. My thoughts and prayers are with the deceased’s family, friends and colleagues and with the entire Indian nation during such difficult time,” Mr. Mustafa said in the letter to Mr. Modi.

Colonel Kale (Retd) was employed with the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS). He was killed on May 13 when his UN-marked vehicle came under attack in Gaza.

Expressing his desire to work with the Government of India and other stakeholders, Mr. Mustafa urged for “peaceful means and negotiations” to end the conflict. “The loss of this Indian officer is another stark reminder of the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire in order to save lives and to put an end to the war of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Occupying Israel against the Palestinian people of Gaza,” he said.

In the letter to Mr. Jaishankar, the Palestine Prime Minister thanked India for its “historical support” towards the “just cause of the Palestinian people”.

“Your commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of Palestinians has been a beacon of hope in our ongoing struggle for justice and peace in the region,” he said.

(With Agency Inputs)