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Fallout growing over Israeli airstrike that killed 7 aid workers

World leaders are weighing in and expressing outrage, including President Joe Biden, who said in a statement that this was not an isolated incident.
Fallout growing over Israeli airstrike that killed 7 aid workers
Posted at 4:06 PM, Apr 03, 2024

The bodies of the foreign aid workers killed this week in a deadly Israeli airstrike were taken on Wednesday to Gaza's Rafah Crossing, which borders Egypt, so their remains could be transported back to their home countries.

The seven aid workers were killed in an Israeli airstrike as they traveled in vehicles prominently showing the name and logo of their aid organization, World Central Kitchen. The nonprofit said the group had communicated their location to Israel Defense Forces prior to heading out on a well-known road used by aid groups to carry food aid up and down the Gaza strip. 

Among those killed were citizens of Australia, Poland, the U.K. and one Palestinian, along with 33-year-old Jacob Flickinger, who was a dual American-Canadian citizen.

Wednesday's edition of The New York Times published an opinion column by World Central Kitchen founder Chef Jose Andres, who was critical of how Israel has handled the war in Gaza. 

"Israel is better than the way this war is being waged. It is better than blocking food and medicine to civilians. It is better than killing aid workers who had coordinated their movements with the Israel Defense Forces," Andres wrote in The New York Times. "The Israeli government needs to open more land routes for food and medicine today. It needs to stop killing civilians and aid workers today. It needs to start the long journey to peace today."

The Israeli military said it is investigating the incident, but also added that their preliminary findings indicate the air strike was "a mistake."

"I want to be very clear. The strike was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers," said Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israeli military. "It was a mistake that followed a misidentification at night during the war, in very complex conditions. It shouldn't have happened."

Following the airstrike, World Central Kitchen and other aid groups suspended operations in the Gaza strip.

It comes at a dire time, when the United Nations warns Palestinians there are facing starvation.

"I think this appalling tragedy is proof, as if we needed it, of the incredible dangers that exist involved in delivery of humanitarian aid inside Gaza — a point that we've been making for months, after six months of this conflict," said U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths.

On Wednesday, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that the U.S. has no plans to conduct its own investigation into the Israeli air strike that killed the aid workers. Kirby also said he was not sure if the weapon used in the attack had been provided to Israel by the U.S.

SEE MORE: World Central Kitchen saves lives with food but paid a price in blood

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