Spread the love

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

The humanitarian NGO World Central Kitchen, based in the United States, accused Tuesday Israel for having carried out a "targeted attack" who killed seven of its employees in the Gaza Strip threatened by famine, the Israeli army promising to open an investigation.

Since the start, almost six months ago, of hostilities between Israel and Palestinian Hamas in the Gaza Strip, WCK has participated in humanitarian operations, notably by providing meals to the starving inhabitants of the Palestinian territory besieged and devastated by war.

“World Central Kitchen is devastated, and confirms that seven members of our team were killed in Gaza in an IDF strike”, the Israeli armed forces, Monday deplored the NGO announcing “suspend its operations in the region”.

“I am heartbroken and dismayed that we, World Central Kitchen and the world, lost beautiful lives today due to a targeted IDF attack,” said WCK President Erin Gore.

After this strike, several countries demanded “explanations” from Israel, where the army promised on Tuesday “an investigation to further examine this serious event”. “This will help us limit the risk of such an event happening again,” said Army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

The victims were “from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, (which they also included) a citizen with dual American and Canadian nationality and a Palestinian person”, according to the NGO.

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

The founder of the NGO World Central Kitchen, Spanish-American chef José Andrés (center), March 14, 2024 at the Capitol in Washington © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA – CHIP SOMODEVILLA

Australia denounced a “completely unacceptable” event while Warsaw and Madrid demanded “explanations”, with Spain condemning a “brutal attack”.

China said it was “shocked” and the head of European Union diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, called for an “investigation to be launched as quickly as possible”.

The United Kingdom expects “transparent and complete explanations” from Israel, declared the head of British diplomacy David Cameron.

The United States, Israel's biggest ally, said they were “deeply troubled” and called for “protecting aid workers”.

– Gaping hole –

“We urge Israel to promptly investigate what happened,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said on X.

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

People look at the vehicle of the NGO World Central Kitchen destroyed by an Israeli strike which killed seven collaborators of the American NGO, in the Gaza Strip, April 2, 2024 © AFP – –

Initially, the Hamas Ministry of Health reported five victims arriving at a hospital in Deir el-Balah (center), after “an Israeli airstrike targeting a vehicle of the American organization World Central Kitchen”.

An AFP correspondent saw five bodies and three foreign passports near the remains at Deir el-Balah hospital. In an AFP image we can see the body of one of the victims wearing a black T-shirt with the NGO logo. Images from AFPTV show the destroyed carcass of the vehicle, a gaping hole in the roof, right on the World Central Kitchen logo.

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

A wounded Palestinian at the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah, March 31, 2024 © AFP – –

WCK participated in sending a first aid boat from Cyprus to Gaza which unloaded its cargo in mid-March under the supervision of the Israeli army.

This strike is “a message sent by the Israeli army” aimed at preventing humanitarian workers from intervening on the ground, the vice-president of Médecins du Monde, Jean-François, denounced on franceinfo on Tuesday Corty.

Since the start of the war, which caused a humanitarian catastrophe and colossal destruction in the Gaza Strip, 32,916 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the Palestinian territory, according to a latest report from the Hamas Ministry of Health published Tuesday.

The war was launched on October 7, when Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mainly civilians, according to a count by the AFP established from official data. According to Israel, around 250 people were also kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages, including 34 who died in Gaza.

Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, and its army launched a campaign of intense aerial bombardments on Gaza, followed by a ground offensive.

Fighting and deadly bombardments continue on the ground, where Israeli soldiers withdrew from the al-Chifa hospital complex in Gaza on Monday after two weeks of operations, leaving behind immense destruction and corpses.

Israeli forces “killed more than 200 terrorists and arrested more than 900 people suspected of terrorist acts” at the site of the ruined hospital, said the spokesperson for the Israeli army Monday evening.

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

Rubble searches around al-Chifa hospital, Gaza, April 1, 2024 © AFP – –

The Hamas-led Gaza Civil Defense reported 300 deaths in and around the hospital during the Israeli operation.

Doctors and civilians at the complex told AFP that at least 20 bodies had been found, some of which appeared to have been driven over by military vehicles.

– Ban Al Jazeera –

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that he wanted to “act immediately” to ban the broadcast of Qatari channel Al Jazeera in the country, shortly after Parliament passed a law authorizing it to do so.

Al Jazeera, which accuses Israel of systematically targeting his journalists in the Gaza Strip, denounced a “frantic campaign” against him.

The Washington-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) “urged the Israeli government not to close the bureau” of Al Jazeera in Jerusalem.

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

Israeli anti-government protesters wave a national flag with a photo of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a rally in Jerusalem, March 31, 2024 © AFP – AHMAD GHARABLI

In addition, according to the White House, Israeli officials spoke remotely with their American counterparts on Monday and “agreed to take into account” American concerns about Israel's planned offensive on Rafah , in the south of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded together, most of them displaced by the war.

Gaza: Israel blamed for the death of seven employees of an American NGO

The northern Gaza Strip and al-Chifa hospital © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Jean-Michel CORNU, Hervé BOUILLY

The war has also heightened fears of an escalation of conflict in the region. Eleven people, including seven Revolutionary Guards – Iran's ideological army – were killed Monday in an unprecedented raid blamed on Israel against the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Tehran denounced a “cowardly crime” which “will be punished”.


All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116