Israel absurdly claims air strike that killed 7 aid workers was an accident, but charity was coordinating movements with the IDF
04/08/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Israel has apologized for a horrific air strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers in Gaza. The incident drew harsh criticism of the Jewish state from around the world and prompted several aid organizations to stop making deliveries of food to the besieged strip despite looming famine.

The aid workers were in Gaza representing the U.S.-based World Central Kitchen, a food charity that was founded by Spanish celebrity chef Jose Andres. They were struck as they left a warehouse in Gaza, where they had just finished unloading more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid that was brought to the strip by sea.

Among the group were three British citizens, an American-Canadian dual citizen, an Australian, a Polish citizen and a Palestinian. According to the BBC, the three British nationals who were killed were part of the group's security team, while the rest were part of its relief team.

Israel is insisting that it was an accident, and the IDF has said it will carry out a “thorough review” into the “tragic incident.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog has apologized for the killings, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took responsibility for the incident.

"Unfortunately, in the last 24 hours there was a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip," he stated. "It happens in war, we check it to the end, we are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again."

World Central Kitchen was coordinating movements with the IDF, so how could this be an accident?

However, there is evidence indicating it was not accidental, as Israel is claiming. World Central Kitchen maintains that they were coordinating their movements with the Israeli Defense Forces. The convoy that was struck included three vehicles, two of which were armored and clearly displayed the logo of the charity, including on the roof of the vehicle so it could be identifiable from the air. The charity said that the three vehicles had been moving at great distances apart when they were suddenly hit in succession, leaving them incinerated. This is a clear indication that they were hit by multiple targeted strikes.

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Andres, who said he was “heartbroken” by the deaths, wrote on X: “The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon.”

The U.S., Canada, Australia, Poland and the UK are all demanding answers. White house Spokesman John Kirby said that he was “outraged” by the incident, while President Biden was unusually strong in his criticism of Israel, saying: “Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians.”

“The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties,” he added.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, meanwhile, told Netanyahu directly that the war was becoming “increasingly intolerable” and “demanded a thorough and transparent, independent investigation” into the strike.

World Central Kitchen has been one of the main suppliers of food aid to Gaza. Just a few days ago, they announced that they had served 42 million meals to people in the territory, in addition to sending nearly 435,000 meals there by sea and dispatching more than 1,700 food trucks. They are responsible for 60 percent of all of the non-governmental aid that makes its way into Gaza.

World Central Kitchen, like many charities, is now pausing its operations to protect the safety of their aid workers. Another charity, the American Near East Refugee Aid Group, which had been working alongside the World Central Kitchen, has also stopped its operations in Gaza. As a result, Palestinians who are already on the brink of mass starvation will not be receiving food deliveries.

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