Killing of Aid Workers in Gaza a Mistake: IDF Chief

Three World Central Kitchen volunteers have been killed in the Russia-Ukraine War.
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  • 10:23 AM, April 3, 2024
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Killing of Aid Workers in Gaza a Mistake: IDF Chief
World Central Kitchen's social media post on April 1, 2024

In a somber admission, the Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Herzi Halevi, has conceded that the recent strike on the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of seven volunteers from the non-governmental organization (NGO) World Central Kitchen (WCK), was a grave error.

Speaking via a statement released on the Israeli army's telegram channel, Halevi expressed regret over the incident, asserting, "I want to be clear - the strike was not carried out with the intention of harming aid workers. It was a mistake that followed a misidentification - at night, during war, in very difficult conditions. This should not have happened."

According to reports from World Central Kitchen, the strike resulted in the deaths of seven of the organization's employees, hailing from diverse national backgrounds, including Australia, Great Britain, Poland, Palestinians, and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. The convoy, which was marked with the WCK logo and consisted of two armored vehicles and another vehicle, was struck as it departed from its Deir al-Balah warehouse after delivering over 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza by sea.

Despite purported coordination with the Israeli Defense Force, the convoy fell victim to the airstrike.

Killing of Aid Workers in Gaza a Mistake: IDF Chief

John Kirby, the spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, said Israel must carry out a military investigation on the killings “in a swift and comprehensive manner.”

World Central Kitchen

Since 2010, World Central Kitchen, founded by Spanish-American Michelin-starred chef Jose Andres, has been providing freshly prepared meals to those in need during natural disasters, conflicts, and humanitarian crises. They've served migrants at the southern U.S. border, hospital staff during the pandemic, and are currently aiding Ukrainians displaced by conflict and those affected by the Gaza war. By March, they had delivered 32 million meals in Gaza. They've utilized airdrops and sea shipments, prompting the U.S. to build a floating pier for aid delivery to Gaza.

WCK has faced attacks in the past. On June 2, 2023, a WCK volunteer known only as Igor was killed in a Russian missile attack in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Additionally, the charity reported that two volunteer chefs, Sardor and Viktoria, were killed in strikes on Kharkiv in July 2022.

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