UAE pauses aid to Gaza by sea after Israeli strike kills aid workers

Australian World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid worker Lalzawmi "Zomi" Frankcom at a WCK kitchen, at a location given as Deir Al-Balah

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates is pausing humanitarian aid efforts through a maritime corridor from Cyprus to Gaza pending further safety guarantees from Israel and a full investigation into the deaths of aid workers in Gaza, a UAE official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The official, who declined to be identified, gave no detail on the safety guarantees the UAE wants from Israel.

An Israeli strike killed seven people working for the World Central Kitchen aid group in Gaza.

The UAE has financed the aid shipments by sea to Gaza and WCK has organised them.

A UAE foreign ministry statement condemned the deaths of the aid workers and called for an "urgent, independent and transparent investigation." The UAE said it holds Israel responsible.

Israel eased a 17-year naval blockade on the Gaza Strip last month to allow seaborne aid from Cyprus for starving Palestinians.

(Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Sharon Singleton and Cynthia Osterman)