What We Know About the Strike That Killed World Central Kitchen Workers in Gaza – 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

What We Know About the Strike That Killed World Central Kitchen Workers in Gaza – Latest International Breaking News Today

Seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen were killed when their convoy came under fire overnight between Monday and Tuesday, according to the aid organization and Palestinian health officials in Gaza.

The disaster relief organization, founded by the Spanish chef José Andrés, said members of its staff were hit in an Israeli strike, the Israeli army said the episode was being investigated, without taking responsibility for the strike. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel acknowledged on Tuesday a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people”

Here’s what we know.

The World Central Kitchen staff members were leaving a warehouse in Deir al-Balah, a city in the central Gaza Strip, when their convoy, two armored cars and a third vehicle came under fire, the organization said in a statement. The precise time of the episode has not been determined, but it was late Monday night or just after midnight on Tuesday.

The Israeli military had been informed of aid workers’ movements, the charity said. Aid workers had just unloaded more than 100 tons of food brought to Gaza by sea at the warehouse, according to the group.

Video footage filmed by a Palestinian journalist and verified by The New York Times shows at least two destroyed white vehicles at the scene. One of the cars was left with a gaping hole in its roof, which was clearly marked with the World Central Kitchen logo. Papers bearing the WCK logo could also be seen inside the charred interior of the second car.

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It remained unclear on Tuesday morning what sort of munition struck the cars and whether those explosives were launched from the ground, from a warplane or from a drone.

The strike’s victims included a Palestinian and six foreign nationals, including people from Australia, Poland, Britain, the United States and Canada.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia identified one of the victims as Zomi Frankcom, an Australian citizen and a senior manager at World Central Kitchen.

Palestinian medics retrieved the bodies of the seven victims before rushing them to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ hospital in Deir al-Balah, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. They were subsequently taken south and will ultimately be transported out of the enclave into Egypt, the Red Crescent said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesman of the Israeli army, said the circumstances behind the strike were still being investigated “at the highest levels.” He said the investigation had been referred to the Fact Finding and Assessment Mechanism, a military body tasked with investigating accusations of probing the circumstances behind battlefield incidents.

“We will be opening a probe to examine this serious incident further,” he said. “This will help us reduce the risk of such an event from occurring again.”

The Israeli military said the mechanism was an “independent, professional, and expert body.” Human rights groups have generally been critical of the Israeli military’s ability to transparently investigate itself, charging that probes are often long and rarely lead to indictments.

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In a video statement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel referred to a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally harming innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” Mr. Netanyahu did not specifically name World Central Kitchen in his remarks.

But an Israeli official familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the strike is still under investigation, clarified that the prime minister was referencing the strike.

“It happens in war, we are fully examining this, we are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again,” said Mr. Netanyahu.

Admiral Hagari said he had spoken to Mr. Andrés to express his condolences on behalf of the Israeli military, but steered clear of formally claiming responsibility for the strike that killed the aid workers.

Vivian Yee and Nader Ibrahim contributed reporting to this article. Gabby Sobelman and Rawan Sheikh Ahmad provided translation.

-24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today
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