US, world leaders “outraged” after IDF kills 7 foreign aid workers in Gaza – National & International News – TUE 2Apr2024

US, world leaders outraged after IDF kills 7 foreign aid workers in Gaza.

Israel’s actions putting more US personnel at risk.


US, world leaders “outraged” after IDF kills 7 foreign aid workers in Gaza

Seven workers for the humanitarian organization World Central Kitchen were killed yesterday in three separate air strikes on their convoy by the Israel Defense Forces.

According to reports, the van convoy was traveling from its warehouse at Deir el-Balah in central Gaza, having dropped off aid delivered by recently established maritime routes. Their vans were clearly marked as belonging to WCK and even sported the organization’s emblem on the top of the vans. WCK had also advised the IDF of their route and destination.

The convoy consisted of two marked armored vans and another vehicle. The convoy was hit with missiles three times as they traveled through a “deconflicted zone”. At the first strike, the group gathered the wounded into the remaining vehicles and kept driving. After the second strike, the last remaining vehicle pulled up to the blasted vehicle to rescue survivors. Then the third vehicle was hit, killing everyone, including the survivors of the first two strikes.

The workers killed yesterday were three British nationals, a Polish national, an Australian national, a dual US-Canadian national, and the group’s Palestinian driver. 

The leaders of the worker’s home countries have all demanded accountability and an investigation. White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby expressed “outrage” over the attacks. However, while he joined calls for an investigation, Kirby implied that the US would be willing to accept the results of the IDF’s own investigation. Kirby also dismissed any consideration of conditioning massive US military aid to Israel. 

WCK founder condemns attack

On Twitter, World Central Kitchen founder, celebrity chef José Andrés, mourned the loss of the seven workers, “These are people…angels…I served alongside in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas, Indonesia. They are not faceless…they are not nameless.

Andrés also condemned Israel’s actions, their repeated attacks on aid workers and their obstruction of humanitarian operations in Gaza. “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,” Andrés wrote.

This is not an uncommon story in Gaza. In February, the IDF fired on a UN convoy delivering food.  Other aid groups have stopped delivering aid to Northern Gaza because of the IDF’s failure to ensure safe passage. Since Oct. 7, over 200 aid workers have been killed by IDF strikes in the Strip. This is despite efforts by all these organizations to coordinate with the IDF and their facilities and vehicles being clearly marked.

Following yesterday’s attack, WCK says it will be pausing its operations in Gaza due to safety concerns. Other international aid groups have followed suit. World Central Kitchen has worked in conflict zones throughout the world since 2010. The organization has delivered millions of meals in Gaza since Oct. 7. Last month, in partnership with the US, WCK began organizing deliveries of aid by sea to Gaza’s coast, via Cyprus. 

Israel’s actions putting more US personnel at risk

All of this bodes ill for President Biden’s plan to deliver some 2 million meals a day through a temporary port that the US military will build off the coast of Gaza. World Central Kitchen was to play a major role in this effort. The port and its construction are still some months off, and the US still hasn’t offered any plan for how the aid will be distributed in Gaza once it arrives. Yesterday’s attack raises questions about the safety of the 1000 or so US military personnel who will be involved in building the port.

In addition, Israel’s airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria has increased the danger for thousands of US military personnel stationed in Syria, Iraq and Jordan. That attack killed several high-ranking members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two generals. 

In January, three US Army Reservists from a unit in Georgia were killed in a drone attack by one of Iran’s proxy militant groups. Following that attack, the head of one of these militant groups called for a halt on US military bases. There have been no attacks in 6 weeks. However, that is likely to change as Iran has vowed to retaliate for the attack on its consulate.

In a tweet, Ali Shamkhani, a senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, identified the Israel Defense Forces as “the US proxy army in the region”. Shamkani also wrote, “Whether or not Washington was informed of Israel’s plans will not change the fact that the US holds direct responsibility for this crime and its consequences”.




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