Israeli Airstrike Killed World Central Kitchen Workers in Gaza: Report

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Hours after international aid workers from World Central Kitchen and a Palestinian driver had delivered a crucial shipment of food to displaced civilians in Gaza, they were killed in an airstrike, according to the Associated Press.

José Andrés, the chef who founded the nonprofit, said on X/Twitter that the organization had lost “several of our sisters and brothers” in the attack, which was reported in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah on Monday. Andrés said that the Israeli military was behind the airstrike, but that was not immediately confirmed.

“I am heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and our whole WCK family. These are people…angels…I served alongside in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas, Indonesia. They are not faceless…they are not nameless,” he wrote. “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. No more innocent lives lost. Peace starts with our shared humanity. It needs to start now.”

Graphic footage that the AP said was from Al-Aqsa Hospital showed at least five bodies. Hospital staff appeared to show passports of foreign nationals from Australia, Britain and Poland; the nationality of the fourth aid worker was not immediately clear. Some appeared to wear protective gear with the charity’s logo. A Palestinian man was among those killed, who was described in a news conference as the nonprofit’s driver at the time of the strike.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it was conducting a review “to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

In a statement, World Central Kitchen, which operates in crisis areas, said it was “aware of reports” that its staff members were killed “in an I.D.F. attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza.”

“This is a tragedy,” the organization said. “Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER.”

Last month, World Central Kitchen became the first to test a new maritime corridor for desperately needed aid to northern Gaza, where the United Nations’ Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) estimated famine will reach by May and could spread throughout the rest of Gaza by July.

Earlier on Monday, AP reported that the group’s group’s second delivery by sea, carrying 400 tons of food and supplies from Cyprus, had arrived for the territory. The Israeli military was reportedly involved in coordinating both of the nonprofit’s deliveries.

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In late February, health authorities in Gaza reported that Israeli soldiers shot at a crowd that had gathered to receive food from an aid convoy, the first delivery to the region in a month and that more than 100 people were killed and approximately 760 were wounded in the attack. According to the Gaza health ministry, more than 32,000 people have been killed since October 7.



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