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Israeli Airstrike Claims Lives of 7 Aid Workers in Gaza, Netanyahu Asserts Unintentionality

Airstrike
Airstrike

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On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret over an Israeli airstrike that inadvertently resulted in the deaths of seven individuals affiliated with celebrity chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen charity in Gaza. The Israeli military confirmed that the strike targeted a WCK convoy, resulting in casualties that included citizens of Australia, Britain, and Poland, along with Palestinians and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. The victims were traveling in two armored vehicles adorned with the charity’s logo, as well as another vehicle.

Netanyahu characterized the incident as tragic and unintended, stressing that such occurrences are unfortunate but not uncommon in times of conflict. He pledged a thorough investigation into the matter and expressed condolences to the affected governments and families. Despite Israel’s denial of impeding the distribution of humanitarian aid in Gaza, the strike raised concerns about the safety of aid workers operating in the region.

The convoy, which had coordinated its movements with the Israeli military, was struck as it departed a warehouse in Deir al-Balah after delivering over 100 tons of humanitarian food aid to Gaza via sea. World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore condemned the attack, emphasizing the critical role of humanitarian organizations in providing aid amid conflict and underscoring the reprehensible nature of targeting such efforts.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed these sentiments, urging Israel to conduct a swift and impartial investigation while emphasizing the importance of protecting humanitarian workers. He emphasized the bravery of those involved in such endeavors, highlighting the risk they face while aiding vulnerable populations.

In response to the incident, the Israeli military pledged to conduct a thorough review to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. International pressure has mounted on Israel to address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where months of conflict with Hamas have left much of the territory devastated and its population displaced.

The United Nations and other international bodies have criticized Israel for obstructing aid distribution and failing to ensure the security of humanitarian convoys. Hamas, the dominant group in Gaza, has accused Israel of deliberately targeting aid workers to undermine relief efforts.

In the wake of the airstrike, World Central Kitchen announced the immediate suspension of its operations in Gaza and expressed intent to assess the future of its work in the region. Meanwhile, countries such as Britain, Australia, and Poland have called for a thorough investigation into the incident, underscoring the need to protect aid workers and hold those responsible accountable. The tragic event has further exacerbated tensions in the region and heightened international scrutiny of Israel’s actions in Gaza.


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