Home » latest » Chef José Andrés alleges Israel targeted aid workers ‘car by car’ in deadly airstrike, Israel calls it ‘grave mistake’
chef josé andrés alleges israel targeted aid workers car by car in deadly airstrike israel calls it grave mistake

Chef José Andrés alleges Israel targeted aid workers ‘car by car’ in deadly airstrike, Israel calls it ‘grave mistake’

Chef José Andrés, founder of the World Central Kitchen (WCK), accused Israel of targeting his aid staffers “systemically, car by car” when seven of them were killed in an airstrike Monday delivering desperately needed food to hungry Gazans. The Israeli military, meanwhile, said Wednesday that an investigation found that its forces misidentified the aid workers’ vehicles as hostile amid international criticism for the deadly bombing and Israel’s ongoing six-month siege of the enclave. The three WCK vehicles, which included two armored cars and a third unarmored one, were targeted in multiple strikes, killing workers from Australia, Canada, Poland, the UK and the US as well as their Palestinian driver. Andrés claimed that the IDF had been told beforehand about their movement. The Spanish-American chef rejected Israeli and U.S. claims that the strike was not deliberate. “This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” Andrés told Reuters. “This was over 1.5, 1.8 kilometers, with a very defined humanitarian convoy that had signs in the top, in the roof, a very colorful logo that we are obviously very proud of,” he said. It’s “very clear who we are and what we do.” The aid workers were leaving a warehouse in northern Gaza, where they had just unloaded more than 100 tons of food when they were struck by a missile around 11 p.m., according to Andres. “They were targeting us in a deconflicting zone, in an area controlled by IDF. They knowing that it was our teams moving on that road … with three cars,” Andrés said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strike was unintentional and was a consequence of war. “It happens in war, we check it to the end, we are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again,” Mr Netanyahu said on Tuesday. IDF’s Chief of General Staff Herzi Halevi on Wednesday called the incident a “grave mistake” and said “it shouldn’t have happened.” He said a fuller account of the incident will be released in the coming days, The Wall Street Journal reported. Andres said World Central Kitchen discovered something was wrong when they could no longer reach the seven on the ground. “Somehow we kind of lost communication,” he told Reuters. “Then we began [to get] information that something went wrong, that something happened. And that is when I found out our team” were targeted. He said he believes at least three strikes targeted the WCK team as well as drones. “They attacked the first car…We have a feeling they were able to escape safely because this was an armored vehicle,” he said. The people in the first car “were able to move in the second one. Again, this one was hit. They were able to move in the third one.” “They were targeted systematically car by car,” he added. After the attack, WCK called their workers’ deaths a tragedy and said “Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER.” The Washington DC-based nonprofit is the largest non-U.N. agency delivering food aid to the Gaza strip, supplying some 300,000 meals a day, according to the Wall Street Journal. Since the airstrike, it has suspended food deliveries. WCK is working to repatriate the bodies of six of the dead workers, which have since been taken from Gaza into Egypt, the BBC reported. Among the dead was 33-year-old American-Canadian Jacob Flickinger. The others have been identified as Lalzawmi (Zomi) Frankcom, 43, of Australia; Damian Sobol, 35, of Poland; and Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 25, of Palestine. Abutaha was buried in his hometown of Raffa, according to the BBC. President Biden condemned the strike and said Israel is not doing enough to protect aid workers for civilians in the conflict that has left more than 30,000 Palestinians dead. “The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties,” the president said. With Post Wires

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