Retired Indian Army Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale, Killed in Gaza Attack

Waibhav Anil Kale, a 46-year-old retired colonel from the Indian Army, was tragically killed in Gaza on Monday. He had been serving as an observer with the UN’s Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS). Survived by his wife and two teenage children in Pune. Kale had only joined the UN a month prior to the incident.

En route to the European Hospital in Rafah, his vehicle was attacked in Khan Younis. Another UNDSS staff member sustained serious injuries in the attack. The assailants remain unidentified, despite the UN vehicle being clearly marked.

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Colonel Waibhav Anil Kale’s death marks the first international casualty for the global organization (UN) in Gaza since the Israel-Hamas conflict reignited on October 7, 2023. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the incident, calling for a full investigation and emphasizing the need to protect humanitarian workers. An inquiry has reportedly been initiated by Israel.

Kale, commissioned into the 11 J&K Rifles in June 2000 after graduating from the Indian Military Academy. After serving in various parts of India, including field areas in Kashmir and the northeast. He took early retirement in 2022. Described as a jovial and enthusiastic all-rounder by an Indian Army officer, Col. Anil Kale had worked at Amazon before joining UNDSS.

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UNDSS Under secretary General Gilles Michaud expressed his sorrow, stating that Col Anil Kale had been with the department for only a few weeks. He had met him in Gaza the day after he arrived to take up his post.

Michaud praised Col. Anil Kale’s character and commitment to making a difference, especially in supporting people in desperate need in dangerous places during times of crisis. He assured that Kale’s contribution would not be forgotten.