Aid Workers Tragically Killed by Errant Israeli Strike

Originally published by Jewish Federations of North America on April 4, 2024. 

  • On Tuesday night, seven international workers - part of the World Central Kitchen team that delivers food to civilians in Gaza - were tragically killed due to an errant Israeli strike. Click here for Jewish Federations' statement on the incident. 
    • The seven aid workers affiliated with World Central Kitchen were identified as nationals from Australia, Poland, and Britain, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, and one Palestinian. 
    • According to commentators, the IDF believes the tragic error was caused by either mistaken identity of the vehicle by the Israeli Air Force or miscommunication between Israeli intelligence and the Air Force. 
    • After speaking with Chef José Andrés, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari expressed his condolences over the tragic death of the workers “as they fulfilled their vital mission of bringing food to people in need.” Hagari said that Israel is “committed to examining our operations thoroughly and transparently.” Hagari also praised the World Central Kitchen’s work as “vital.” 
    • Prime Minister Netanyahu called the strike “tragic” and “unintentional,” and stated that Israel “will do everything to prevent this [incident] from happening again.” 
    • Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant held an operational assessment together with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and senior members of the defense team. He noted the complex environment that the IDF operates in. He highlighted the important role of aid organizations and Israel’s commitment to collaborating with them.  His instructions to the defense team included establishing a professional team to immediately investigate the incident and setting up a mechanism that would directly coordinate aid efforts with the IDF going forward.
    • For more background and information on the incident, see here.
  • Last night, Israel’s Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant briefed US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the tragic WCK incident. He emphasized that a thorough and transparent investigation is being conducted, that its conclusions will be shared with partners, and that lessons will be implemented by the defense establishment. Gallant emphasized his commitment to facilitating the distribution of humanitarian aid, and the measures currently being assessed to expand its influx and distribution to Gaza.
  • Israel still insists that it will conduct an operation in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip to rid the area of the last major bastion of Hamas power. This is despite international pressure against such a move, due to the one million civilians who have sought refuge in the town. Many commentators think that it is likely that the IDF is waiting to enter Rafah until Ramadan ends next week, and until suitable arrangements have been made to allow civilians to escape the area, including safe corridors and a humanitarian zone with proper facilities. Even if/when an operation begins, most believe it will likely be limited in scope, due to US and other international pressure.



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