Biden outraged by Israeli strike that killed World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza

“It happens in war,” — Benjamin Netanyahu, initial statement following Monday‘s attacks.

“On Monday, an Israeli airstrike killed seven humanitarian workers from the relief organization World Central Kitchen, including a dual U.S. citizen. More than 200 aid workers have been killed in the war since it began on Oct. 7, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.. . . .World Central Kitchen announced that it was pausing aid efforts in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the Israel Defense Forces had “unintentionally hit innocent people,” adding that “we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again.” (NBC)

The BBC notes: “The charity says the aid workers were traveling in three cars – two of them armored. It says the convoy’s movements had been co-ordinated with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The convoy had dropped off more than 100 tonnes of food supplies at a warehouse in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, according to the charity. By analysing images of three heavily damaged vehicles – one of them bearing a WCK logo on the roof – BBC Verify has worked out their locations.They are around 2.5km (1.5 miles) apart, which suggests there was more than one strike.

BBC Verify showed images of the cars to a number of weapons experts. They do not show fragments of missiles or bombs at the scene but the experts studied the damage to the vehicles. Chris Cobb-Smith, a former British Army officer and ex-UN weapons inspector, said the attack was probably the result of drone-launched Spike missiles. Spike missiles are a type of powerful weapon, usually launched against tanks and other armoured vehicles. Justin Crump, a former British Army officer who runs Sibylline – a risk intelligence company – agreed. He says the attack “was likely drone-launched and targeted”. He added the strike had probably been caused by a missile, rather than a bomb or mortar.

The seven aid workers killed have been named by WCK as:

  • Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, 43, an Australian citizen
  • Damian Sobol, 35, a Polish citizen
  • Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 25, a Palestinian
  • Jacob Flickinger, 33, a dual US-Canadian national
  • John Chapman, 57, a British citizen
  • James (Jim) Henderson, 33, a British citizen
  • James Kirby, 47, a British citizen

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said of the Israeli killings of our team, ‘It happens in war.’ It was a direct attack on clearly marked vehicles whose movements were known by the Israel Defense Forces,” Chef José Andrés explained. (Rolling Stone)

For Andrés — who worked alongside these team members in Ukraine, Turkey, Morocco, the Bahamas, Indonesia, Mexico, Gaza and Israel — they were “more than heroes.” He wrote: “Their work was based on the simple belief that food is a universal human right. It is not conditional on being good or bad, rich or poor, left or right. We do not ask what religion you belong to. We just ask how many meals you need. . . . .

We welcome the government’s promise of an investigation into how and why members of our World Central Kitchen family were killed. That investigation needs to start at the top, not just the bottom.. . . .Andrés continued: “In the worst conditions, after the worst terrorist attack in its history, it’s time for the best of Israel to show up. You cannot save the hostages by bombing every building in Gaza. You cannot win this war by starving an entire population.” ( (Rolling Stone)

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