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Seven aid workers killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza

On Tuesday, seven people working with a humanitarian organization delivering food aid in Gaza were killed after an Israeli airstrike hit their cars which were clearly marked with the charity's logo.

The airstrike on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy killed a Palestinian, a Canada-US dual citizen, an Australian Citizen, a Polish citizen, and three UK citizens.


“These are the heroes of WCK. These 7 beautiful souls were killed by the IDF in a strike as they were returning from a full day's mission. Their smiles, laughter, and voices are forever embedded in our memories.” - Erin Gore, CEO. Read more: https://t.co/4f38RQ1l4I pic.twitter.com/neAsSzKVP5

— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) April 2, 2024


The charity stated: "Despite coordinating movements with the [Israeli army], the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team unloaded more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route."

WCK chief executive, Erin Gore said: "This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable."

In the aftermath of the attack, WCK along with other aid organizations such as Anera and Hope have announced that they will be pausing operations in Gaza to protect their staff. 

A report from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) partnership published last month warned that famine in Gaza is imminent. The report notes that without an immediate increase in aid deliveries conditions would continue to deteriorate.  

A statement from the Israeli forces said: "The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with WCK in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza."

Aid agencies have faced several obstacles in their attempts to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza due to unclear restrictions imposed by Israel. The UN has stated that Israel regularly denies approval for aid convoys. 

Before 7 October, an average of 500 trucks would enter Gaza every day carrying about 7,500 tonnes of goods. This number has since fallen to roughly 1,500 tonnes a day.

In late February, at least 118 Palestinians were killed and 760 injured after Israeli forces opened fire on civilians lining up for aid and food from a humanitarian aid truck. 

Israel has been facing pressure from the international community to increase the flow of aid. 

World Central Kitchen organized 400 tonnes of food supplies - enough for 1m meals - to be delivered. Workers were only able to offload around 100 tonnes before the Israeli attack forced WCK to stop its lifesaving work in Gaza. 

Read more here, here, and here


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