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Israeli Killing Of Humanitarian Aid Workers 'A Tragedy': World Central Kitchen

02.04.2024 04:12

'Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER,' says US based aid organization.

The killing of humanitarian aid workers by Israel is "a tragedy," the US-based aid organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) said Monday.

"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," it said on X, referring to the Israeli army.

"Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER."

The remarks came after five people working for the aid organization, including four foreigners, were killed in an Israeli airstrike on their vehicle in Deir al-Balah city in the central Gaza Strip, the Government Media Office in Gaza said Monday.

"Israel struck a foreign team that consists of British, Polish and Australian nationals and another nationality still not identified, in addition to a Palestinian from Gaza," Ismail Thawabteh, the director of the office, said at a press conference.

Photos emerging on Palestinian social media accounts showed the passports of the foreigners who were killed in the airstrike, including from Australia, Poland and the UK, as well as dead bodies with WCK T-shirts.

WCK founder Jose Andres said the organization lost "several of our sisters and brothers" in an Israeli 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, Türkiye, Morocco, the Bahamas, Indonesia. They are not faceless…they are not nameless," Andres said on X.

"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," he added.

The Israeli military, meanwhile, said it was conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of the "tragic" incident.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

Over 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,300 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which on Thursday asked it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. -

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