Israeli airstrike kills seven foreign aid workers in Gaza

The convoy was struck as it was leaving its Deir al-Balah warehouse, having unloaded over 100 tons of humanitarian food supply.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza killed seven workers from a team that was distributing food to people, including foreigners, according to the Gaza government media office and the nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen. Australia verified that one of its nationals was among the deceased.

According to the NGO, seven workers of celebrity chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen (WCK), including nationals of Australia, Britain, and Poland, were among the seven individuals who were killed in an Israeli bombing in central Gaza’s Deir Al Balah on Monday.

WCK stated that the workers, who also included Palestinians and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada, were travelling in two armoured cars decorated with the WCK emblem and another vehicle carried the personnel.

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The organization further revealed that the convoy was struck as it was leaving its Deir al-Balah warehouse, having unloaded over 100 tons of humanitarian food supply that had been transported to Gaza by water even despite having coordinated activities with the Israeli Defense Force.

Calling the attack inhumane, WCK took to X (Twitter) and wrote, “We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza. This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER,” (sic).

The founder of WCK, Chef Jose Andres, also expressed grief over the killing of food delivery workers on X, he said he was heartbroken for the families and friends of those who died in the airstrike.

Tagging WCK, he wrote, “Today @WCKitchen lost several of our sisters and brothers in an IDF air strike in Gaza. 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. 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” (sic).

It is pertinent to say that following an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Andres sent food and cooks to start the WCK.

Since then, the organization has provided meals to those affected by natural catastrophes, refugees at the US border, medical professionals during the COVID pandemic, and civilians caught up in conflict in Gaza and Ukraine.

Australian PM demands ‘accountability’

While confirming the death of Australian aid worker Lalzawmi “Zomi,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed that his government had spoken with Israel to urge that those responsible be held accountable.

At a press conference on Tuesday, PM Anthony Albanese declared, “This is a human tragedy that should never have occurred, that is completely unacceptable, and Australia will seek full and proper accountability.”

Albanese emphasized the need to protect innocent bystanders and humanitarian workers while reiterating his demand for a long-term truce in Gaza and increased humanitarian assistance for Palestinians facing “tremendous deprivation.”

White House response

Meanwhile, the White House also flagged the cover over the killing of foreign aid workers. Taking to a social media platform X, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson wrote.

“We are heartbroken and deeply troubled by the strike that killed @WCKitchen aid workers in Gaza. Humanitarian aid workers must be protected as they deliver aid that is desperately needed, and we urge Israel to swiftly investigate what happened,” (sic).″

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