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World Central Kitchen: Foreigners among aid workers killed in Israeli attack, as Netanyahu calls strike ‘unintentional’



World Central Kitchen: Foreigners among aid workers killed in Israeli attack, as Netanyahu calls strike ‘unintentional’
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard


Seven help staff, together with overseas nationals, from the non-profit World Central Kitchen had been killed in an Israeli army strike as they had been delivering meals to ravenous civilians in Gaza.

World Central Kitchen mentioned its help staff had been touring in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored automobiles branded with the charity’s brand in addition to “a comfortable pores and skin automobile.”

“Regardless of coordinating actions with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], the convoy was hit because it was leaving the Deir Al-Balah warehouse, the place the staff had unloaded greater than 100 tons of humanitarian meals help delivered to Gaza on the maritime route,” the group mentioned in a press release.

These killed embrace a twin US-Canada nationwide, in addition to individuals from Australia, Poland, three from the UK, and a Palestinian, the group mentioned.

Movies obtained by CNN present the bloodied our bodies of a number of victims carrying World Central Kitchen vests following the airstrike within the central metropolis of Deir Al-Balah.

World Central Kitchen mentioned it was pausing its operations following the lethal strike and assessing the way forward for its operations in Gaza.

“I’m heartbroken and appalled that we – World Central Kitchen and the world – misplaced lovely lives right now due to a focused assault by the IDF,” World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore mentioned within the assertion.

“The love they’d for feeding individuals, the willpower they embodied to indicate that humanity rises above all, and the influence they made in numerous lives will eternally be remembered and cherished,” Gore added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday acknowledged that the help staff had been “unintentionally” focused.

“Sadly, within the final day, there was a tragic incident the place our forces unintentionally struck harmless individuals within the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu mentioned in a video posted to social media. “It occurs in struggle, and we’re completely investigating it. We’re in touch with the governments and can do every part to forestall such occurrences in the future.”

The IDF had beforehand mentioned that it’s “conducting a radical assessment on the highest ranges to grasp the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari mentioned he had spoken to World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres to specific “the deepest condolences of the Israel Protection Forces to the households and the complete World Central Kitchen household.”

US President Joe Biden’s administration can also be in contact with Andres, a senior administration official advised CNN on Tuesday.

The Washington-headquartered charity offers meals to disaster-struck areas and communities world wide. It is among the few help organizations delivering desperately wanted meals in Gaza the place 2.2 million individuals shouldn’t have sufficient to eat, and the place help businesses warn half of the inhabitants is getting ready to hunger and famine on account of Israel’s throttling of help and widespread destruction.

“In the present day @WCKitchen misplaced a number of of our sisters and brothers in an IDF air strike in Gaza,” Andres, the charity’s founder, wrote on X. “I’m heartbroken and grieving for his or her households and pals and our complete WCK household.”

“The Israeli authorities must cease this indiscriminate killing. It must cease proscribing humanitarian help, cease killing civilians and help staff, and cease utilizing meals as a weapon,” he added.

“These are individuals… angels… I served alongside in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas, Indonesia. They aren’t faceless… they aren’t anonymous.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recognized the Australian sufferer as Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom.

“That is somebody who volunteered in Australia to assist individuals throughout the bushfires. That is somebody who was volunteering abroad to supply help by means of this charity for people who find themselves struggling super deprivation in Gaza,” Albanese mentioned.

“Australia expects full accountability for the deaths of help staff, which is totally unacceptable.”

He mentioned the Australian authorities has already contacted the Israeli authorities immediately, and that the Division of International Affairs and Commerce had requested a “call-in” from the Israeli ambassador to Australia.

Polish authorities confirmed that certainly one of its nationals, Damian Sobol from the city of Przemysl, was killed as effectively.

Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s overseas minister, mentioned he personally requested Israel’s envoy to the nation to ship an “pressing” clarification. Sikorski mentioned he was assured “that Poland would quickly obtain the outcomes of the investigation into this tragedy.”

The UK additionally summoned Israel’s envoy to the nation over the incident. The nation’s minister of state for growth and Africa mentioned three British nationals had been killed within the strike.

Saif Issam Abu-Taha, a Palestinian driver and translator working with World Central Kitchen, was named as one of many victims by Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Gaza.

Hamas condemned the assault in a press release on Tuesday, urging the worldwide neighborhood and the United Nations to “take motion.”

“This crime as soon as once more confirms that the occupation continues its coverage of deliberate killing of harmless civilians, worldwide reduction groups, and humanitarian organizations, in its efforts to terrorize these working in them and stop them from finishing up their humanitarian duties,” it mentioned within the assertion.

US Nationwide Safety Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson mentioned on X that the White Home was “heartbroken and deeply troubled” by the killings. Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of International Affairs, mentioned Beijing was “shocked” by the assault.

Different charities had been fast to mourn the losses and reward World Central Kitchen’s dedication to serving to these in want within the face of hazard.

Matthew Hollingworth, the World Meals Programme’s Palestine director praised the “life-saving work” of these killed, whereas Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary Basic Jan Egeland referred to as for a direct ceasefire.

“Nowhere else are so many help staff killed,” Egeland mentioned.

Australian national Lalzawmi

Barak Ravid, a Center East knowledgeable and CNN political and world affairs analyst, mentioned his sources in Israel painted an image of “confusion” and “embarrassment” after the World Central Kitchen staff’ deaths.

World Central Kitchen was “an NGO that that the IDF labored very intently with, as a result of half of what World Central Kitchen did was to carry meals to Gaza by means of the ocean,” Ravid mentioned.

“The IDF wished to indicate that by working with this group, it’s addressing the meals shortages in Gaza,” he added. “And now a number of days later, the IDF allegedly hits… help staff from this group.”

Chris Cobb-Smith, a former British Military artillery officer and munitions knowledgeable, mentioned the heavy harm to a few automobiles seen in video and pictures from the scene was according to the usage of “extremely correct drone fired missiles.” He mentioned it was “onerous to consider” the tragic incident was an accident, however cautioned that he would wish to examine missile fragments from the scene to supply a radical evaluation.

The drone which fired the deadly missiles would have been operated at the side of a surveillance drone, Cobb-Smith mentioned, which means the Israeli army would have had whole visibility of the automobiles, a minimum of two of which had been branded with the World Central Kitchen brand on their roofs.

Ravid identified that this isn’t the primary time help staff have allegedly come underneath hearth by Israeli forces. The overwhelming majority of help staff who’ve been killed have been Palestinians and their households.

For the reason that newest struggle started following Hamas’ October 7 homicide and kidnap rampage by means of southern Israel, a minimum of 165 staff with the United Nations Aid and Works Company for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) have been killed, the company mentioned final month.

Monday’s tragedy prompted one other help group, American Close to East Refugee Assist (Anera), to droop its operations in Gaza to guard its workers.

“Delivering help safely is now not possible,” Anera mentioned in a press release.

The World Central Kitchen has made headlines in recent times for coordinating meals reduction for hundreds of individuals after an earthquake devastated Haiti, Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, wildfires scorched Southern California, and a refugee disaster intensified on the Venezuelan border.

In March, the non-profit led an initiative to ship 200 tons of meals help to Gaza – which it mentioned was the primary maritime cargo of humanitarian help to the Palestinian enclave.

The cargo included sufficient elements for 500,000 meals that World Central Kitchen deliberate to distribute within the strip, the place a whole lot of hundreds persons are getting ready to famine.

The maritime hall operating from Cyprus to Gaza will stay open regardless of the assault, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides mentioned on Tuesday.

“The tragic occasions mustn’t discourage us,” Christodoulides mentioned. “We should double down on our efforts to supply extra help because the wants dramatically escalate.”

It is a creating story and has been up to date.

CNN’s Benjamin Brown, Tala Alrajjal, Radina Gigova and Antonia Mortensen contributed to this report

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