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José Andrés Condemns Israeli Attack: Still Reeling from Loss of Workers

José Andrés Condemns Israeli Attack: Still Reeling
People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip... People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2024. | Abdel Kareem Hana/AP
José Andrés Condemns Israeli Attack: Still Reeling
People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip... People inspect the site where World Central Kitchen workers were killed in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2024. | Abdel Kareem Hana/AP

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José Andrés Condemns Israeli Attack: Still Reeling from Loss of Workers

Chef José Andrés condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a “war against humanity itself” following the Israeli attack that resulted in the deaths of seven workers from World Central Kitchen, Andrés’ humanitarian organization that provides meals to civilians affected by conflicts. In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” aired Sunday, Andrés expressed his dismay, stating, “This doesn’t seem like a war against terror anymore. This doesn’t appear to be a war about defending Israel. At this point, Israelis seem to be waging a war against humanity itself.”

The attack, which occurred on Monday, elicited widespread international condemnation, including from President Joe Biden, who described himself as “outraged and heartbroken” by the killings. Biden later cautioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that U.S. policy toward its primary ally in the Middle East depends on a swift response from Israeli forces in the region to alleviate the humanitarian crisis. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby refrained from specifying potential changes the U.S. could enact during a subsequent interview on Sunday.

Kirby remarked, “I don’t want to get ahead of the president. We need to observe changes over time,” following Andrés’ appearance on ABC. An internal investigation by the IDF, published on Friday, disclosed significant errors and protocol violations that resulted in multiple strikes on an aid convoy. The military asserted that “those who authorized the strike believed they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees.”

However, Andrés questioned the findings of the investigation and called for more comprehensive, independent inquiries into the incident. He stated, “I would argue that the perpetrator cannot be the one investigating himself.” Andrés emphasized the necessity for additional information, including clearer video footage and insight into the radio communications among officers and soldiers responsible for designating the convoy as a target due to an imminent threat.

Andrés also disputed Israel’s assertion that officers were unable to discern the WCK logos on the convoy due to nighttime conditions. He insisted, “I would like to see high-quality video footage, high-resolution images. I am quite confident that those logos were visible.” Andrés contended that the attack on the WCK convoy was deliberate, especially since the group had been coordinating its movements with the IDF, and subsequent strikes were authorized as workers attempted to move between vehicles to reach safety.

The U.S. is still evaluating the findings of the Israeli investigation, according to Kirby, but “we have not reached any conclusions one way or the other.” Andrés, whose humanitarian organization also operates in Ukraine, drew parallels between Netanyahu’s attacks on Gaza and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine.

“It is unforgivable. I will have to live with this for the rest of my life. We all will have to live with this for the rest of our lives,” Andrés lamented. “I have witnessed firsthand what is happening in Ukraine. Entire towns and cities are being obliterated by Russia and by Putin. But Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing the same thing.”


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