What We Know About the Israeli Strike That Killed 7 Aid Workers in Gaza

What We Know About the Israeli Strike That Killed 7 Aid Workers in Gaza

Seven help staff with World Central Kitchen had been killed within the Gaza Strip when their convoy got here beneath hearth on Monday evening, based on the help group and Gazan well being officers.

The catastrophe aid group, based by the Spanish chef José Andrés, mentioned the convoy was hit in an Israeli strike. In a press release following the assault, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel referred to a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting harmless folks.” He mentioned Israel was in contact with overseas governments over the episode.

Here’s what we all know.

The World Central Kitchen employees members had been leaving a warehouse in Deir al Balah, a metropolis within the central Gaza Strip, when their convoy — two armored automobiles and a 3rd automobile — got here beneath hearth late Monday, the group mentioned in a press release.

The Israeli army had been knowledgeable of the help staff’ actions, the charity mentioned. Aid staff had simply unloaded greater than 100 tons of meals delivered to Gaza by sea on the warehouse, based on the group.

Videos and pictures verified by The New York Times recommend the convoy was hit a number of instances. The imagery reveals three destroyed white autos, with the northernmost and southernmost autos practically a mile and a half aside.

The World Central Kitchen brand may very well be seen on objects contained in the charred interiors of the northernmost and southernmost automobiles. The automobile within the center was left with a gaping gap in its roof, which was clearly marked with the group’s brand. All three autos, although far aside from one another, had been on or close to the Al-Rashid coastal highway.

It remained unclear on Tuesday morning what kind of munition struck the automobiles and whether or not these explosives had been launched from the bottom, a warplane or a drone.

World Central Kitchen mentioned a type of killed was a twin citizen of the United States and Canada, whereas the others had been from Australia, Britain, Gaza and Poland. In a publish with the victims’ names and ages on the group’s web site, its chief government, Erin Gore, mentioned “We are reeling from our loss.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia recognized one of many victims as Zomi Frankcom, an Australian citizen and a senior manager at World Central Kitchen. “The tributes flowing for Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom inform the story of a life devoted to the service of others, together with her fellow Australians throughout pure disasters,” Penny Wong, the nation’s overseas minister, mentioned on social media.

Damian Sobol, an help employee from the southeastern Polish metropolis of Przemysl, died within the assault, based on the town’s mayor, Wojciech Bakun. “There are not any phrases to explain what individuals who knew this implausible man really feel at this second,” he mentioned in a publish on social media.

David Cameron, the British overseas secretary, said on social media that three of the help staff who had been killed had been British residents. The BBC reported their names: John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby. Local British media retailers described Mr. Chapman and Mr. Henderson as former Royal Marines who later turned to volunteer work.

Jacob Flickinger, who additionally died within the assault, was a 33-year-old twin citizen of the United States and Canada, based on the World Central Kitchen, and labored on the group’s aid crew.

Palestinian medics retrieved the our bodies of the seven victims and took them to a hospital in Deir al Balah, based on the Palestine Red Crescent Society. The our bodies of the foreigners had been to be taken out of Gaza into Egypt, the group mentioned.

Saif Abu Taha, a 25-year-old Gazan working as a driver and translator for World Central Kitchen, additionally died within the assault. Mr. Abu Taha was an enterprising younger man who labored in his father’s enterprise and spoke good English, his brother Shadi mentioned.

Mr. Abu Taha and different World Central Kitchen staff had been thrilled to have the chance to unload the desperately wanted meals help. “They had been so excited, like they had been going to a marriage,” his brother mentioned. It was the final time he noticed him.

Mr. Cameron mentioned on social media that “it’s important that humanitarian staff are protected and in a position to perform their work.” He known as on Israel “to right away examine and supply a full, clear clarification of what occurred.”

At least 196 help staff had been killed in Gaza and the West Bank between October 2023 and late March, based on Jamie McGoldrick, a senior U.N. aid official. “This just isn’t an remoted incident,” he mentioned, later including: “There isn’t any protected place left in Gaza.”

In a video assertion on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel referred to a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally harming harmless folks within the Gaza Strip.” Mr. Netanyahu didn’t title World Central Kitchen in his remarks.

But an Israeli official acquainted with the matter, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the strike was nonetheless beneath investigation, clarified that the prime minister was referring to the strike.

“It occurs in battle, we’re totally inspecting this, we’re involved with the governments, and we are going to do every little thing in order that this factor doesn’t occur once more,” Mr. Netanyahu mentioned.

An Israeli army official, who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate an inside investigation, mentioned the army had concluded it was chargeable for the strike on the convoy. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Israeli army chief of employees, is anticipated to evaluate findings of an preliminary inquiry into the incident on Tuesday night, the official mentioned.

A spokesman for Israel’s army, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, mentioned the investigation had been referred to the Fact Finding and Assessment Mechanism, a army physique tasked with investigating accusations and searching into the circumstances behind battlefield episodes. “We might be opening a probe to look at this severe incident additional,” he mentioned. “This will assist us scale back the chance of such an occasion from occurring once more.”

The Israeli army mentioned the mechanism was an “unbiased, skilled and knowledgeable physique.” Human rights teams have typically been crucial of the Israeli army’s skill to transparently examine itself, charging that inquiries are sometimes lengthy and infrequently result in indictments.

At the time of the strike, staff had unloaded 100 tons of help from the Jennifer, a World Central Kitchen vessel that had left the Cypriot port of Larnaca final weekend and arrived in Gaza on Monday. Another 240 tons had been to be unloaded on Tuesday, based on Theodoros Gotsis, a spokesman for the Cypriot overseas ministry.

Mr. Gotsis mentioned that the Jennifer as a substitute left Gaza to sail again to Larnaca on Tuesday. He added that a number of extra tons of help had been ready at warehouses in Larnaca, however that it was not clear when and whether or not a mission to ship them would happen.

Patrick Kingsley, Rawan Sheikh Ahmad, Gabby Sobelman, Matina Stevis-Gridneff, Lauren Leatherby, Nader Ibrahim and Kim Severson contributed reporting to this text.



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