World Central Kitchen Loses Seven Employees in Israeli Bombing, Halts Operations in Gaza

In a statement released Tuesday morning, the non-profit food charity World Central Kitchen said that seven of its employees were killed in an Israeli bombing in Gaza overnight. As a result, the group has stopped working in the war-torn area.

The group World Central Kitchen said, "We are heartbroken to confirm that an IDF strike in Gaza killed seven members of our team." "The WCK team was traveling in a zone with no fighting in two armored cars with the WCK logo on them and a soft texture vehicle."

Despite working with the IDF to plan its route, the convoy was attacked as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where more than 100 tons of food aid brought by sea to Gaza had been distributed.

WCK said it "will be making decisions about the future of our work soon" and "is pausing our operations immediately in the region."

According to CNBC, the Israeli Defense Forces did not reply right away to a request for comment. This morning, the military said in a statement that it was "conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident." The New York Times reported on this statement.

As a result of the attack, Reuters and Getty cameras captured images of people that were badly hurt and bloody, with some wearing World Central Kitchen shirts and safety gear. A white car with the group's logo and a big hole in the roof is shown in one picture.

Jose Andres, a famous cook with a Michelin star, started the WCK as a charity food group in 2010 after disasters in Haiti. Since then, it has given hundreds of millions of meals in war zones around the world, including throughout Ukraine since Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022. In March, it also helped send the first load of food by sea from Cyprus to Gaza.

People are attacking not only WCK, but also charity groups that help people in the worst conditions, like when food is being used as a tool of war. Executive Director Erin Gore of the group said, "This is unacceptable."

"Several of our sisters and brothers were killed today in Gaza by an IDF air strike," WCK's founder Andres wrote. "I am sickened and sad for their families, friends, and the whole WCK family... Israeli officials must stop killing people without a reason.

WCK says the seven aid workers who were killed were from the Palestinian areas, Australia, Poland, the UK, and the US.

Later, after the attack, other world leaders are also calling for justice. In Amman, Jordan, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez spoke at a Palestinian refugee camp. Spanish-American Jose Andres started WCK.

Speaking to Reuters after visiting the Jabal el-Hussein camp for Palestinian refugees in Amman, Sanchez said, "I hope and demand that the Israeli government clarifies as soon as possible the circumstances of this brutal attack that killed seven aid workers who were doing nothing more than helping."

As called for by many international groups, including the International Court of Justice, the Spanish leader said, "Israel must immediately allow access to humanitarian aid in Gaza."

Similarly, Poland's foreign minister said he was asking the Israeli government for answers.

He wrote on the social media site X, "I personally asked the Israeli ambassador @YacovLivne for urgent explanations."

He promised that Poland would soon get the details of the investigation into what happened, and he also said that Poland's government is now starting its own probe. The family of our brave soldier and all the civilians who died in the Gaza Strip have my deepest sympathies.


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