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‘Nothing unintentional’: Israeli airstrike that killed 7 World Central Kitchen workers draws outrage

'This was no mistake.'


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Apr 2, 2024   Updated on Apr 2, 2024, 10:16 am CDT

An Israeli airstrike that killed seven aid workers in Palestine on Monday has stirred international outrage, leading some critics to accuse Tel Aviv of purposely targeting those bringing food into the war-torn region. The Israeli government confirmed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were responsible for the attack, which killed workers with the international charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) in the city of Deir al-Balah, but described the incident as “an unintended strike.”

Among those killed included individuals from the U.K., Australia, Poland, Palestine, and a U.S.-Canadian dual citizen. The group had been traveling in two armored vehicles bearing the charity’s logo when the strike took place.

In a statement on the airstrike, WCK said that it had alerted the IDF to its travel itinerary ahead of time to avoid the very type of accident that eventually took place.

“Despite coordinating movements with the IDF, the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route,” the charity said.

As a result of the attack, WCK announced that all operations in the region are paused until further notice. Now, critics of Israel are arguing that the attack was not only intentional but aimed at scaring charity groups away from Gaza, like when the U.S. House voted to defund the United Nations (U.N.) team responsible for providing aid to the area after Israel claimed it was complicit in the Oct. 7, 2023 terror attack.

“Mission accomplished. Israel deliberately killed the WCK foreign workers in Gaza,” one user on X alleged. “This was no mistake. After UNRWA was defunded, WCK is halting operations. Soon the Red Cross and others will find themselves in a similar situation. Israel wants to isolate and annihilate Gaza.”

The sentiment was held by many others online as well, who pointed to the fact that aid ships had reportedly begun to reverse course after the airstrike.

“Israel murdered those aid workers to ensure this,” another claimed.

In explaining the attack, Israel alleged that it was attempting to target one alleged combatant. Yet many argued that the sequence of events called into question the claims of an unintentional strike.

“Israel didn’t just target the World Central Kitchen workers once,” a separate user said. “The survivors of the first drone attack got into another car and were attacked again. The survivors of the second attack were finally killed in a third vehicle. There’s nothing unintentional about this.”

The IDF says it has been working closely with the charity and has launched a probe into the attack at the “highest levels.” The reassurances from Israel, however, have seemingly done little to quell the concerns of charity organizations on those on the ground in Gaza.

World Central Kitchen was founded and is currently run by Chef José Andrés, a wildly popular figure known for providing food to countries devastated by war and natural disasters.

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*First Published: Apr 2, 2024, 10:15 am CDT