Seven food aid workers, including foreign nationals killed in Israel attack

World Central Kitchen reported the death of seven of its aid workers in an Israeli Defense Forces assault in Gaza, leading to a temporary cessation of its activities in the area.

CEO Erin Gore of WCK expressed, “This act against WCK signifies a broader assault on humanitarian entities operating in extreme crisis zones, where food becomes a warfare tool. Such actions are indefensible.”

The organization confirmed the identities of the deceased, including the youngest, 25-year-old Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha from Palestine.

The seven World Central Kitchen workers killed by a Israel military strike

The British victims were John Chapman, 57; James “Jim” Henderson, 33; and James Kirby, 47. Also perishing were Damian Sobol, 35, from Poland; Jacob Flickinger, 33, holding U.S. and Canadian citizenship; and Australian Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, 43.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, post-surgery, acknowledged the inadvertent targeting in Gaza, committing to thorough investigation and preventive measures for future incidents.

Following the event, Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s regret and the ongoing investigation, reiterating the commitment to facilitate humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog, extending sympathies to Andres, assured a detailed inquiry into the unfortunate event.

Herzi Halevi, Israel’s military chief, labeled the airstrike a severe error, clarifying the unintended nature of the attack and extending apologies to WCK and the affected families.

International reaction
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, relayed President Joe Biden’s condolences to WCK founder Jose Andres, acknowledging the organization’s significant global humanitarian efforts. Biden assured that he would insist on Israel’s protection of humanitarian aid personnel.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, expressed profound dismay at the incident, highlighting the challenge of delivering aid in Gaza and calling for improved Israeli military protocols to safeguard civilians and aid workers.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese called for accountability over Frankcom’s death, lauding her altruistic spirit and extending condolences to her loved ones.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Paris, confirmed discussions with Israel regarding the airstrike, advocating for a comprehensive and unbiased probe to ascertain the facts of the incident.

Blinken acknowledged the significant toll on humanitarian workers in the conflict, with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres reporting the deaths of 196 aid personnel, including 175 U.N. staff, in the ongoing Hamas-Israel strife.


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