Israel air strike on Gaza kills seven aid workers from food charity


Food aid organisation World Central Kitchen (WCK) said on Tuesday (Apr 2) that an Israeli strike killed seven of its workers in the Gaza Strip.

Citizens from Australia, Britain and Poland were among the fatalities.

The workers, who also included Palestinians and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, were travelling in two armoured cars emblazoned with the WCK logo and another vehicle, the US-based charity said in a statement.

Despite coordinating movements with the Israeli Defence Force, the convoy was hit as it was leaving its Deir al-Balah warehouse, after unloading more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza by sea, WCK said.

“This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war,” said Erin Gore, chief executive of World Central Kitchen.

“This is unforgivable.”

World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, said it was “pausing our operations in the region”.

The Israeli military said it was doing a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of what it called a tragic incident.

“The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with WCK in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,” the military said.

Andres, who started WCK in 2010 by sending cooks and food to Haiti after an earthquake, earlier said he was heartbroken and grieving for the families and friends of those who died.

“The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing,” he said on social media.

“It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon. No more innocent lives lost. Peace starts with our shared humanity. It needs to start now.”

In a statement, Hamas said the attack aimed to terrorise workers of international humanitarian agencies, deterring them from their missions.



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