Food charity says seven of its workers killed in Israeli airstrike

Food charity says seven of its workers killed in Israeli airstrike

A boy holds up an empty pot as he stands in line with other displaced Palestinians for meals provided by a charity ahead of the “Iftar” breaking of the fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan March 16 in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict in Palestinian territory between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

Said Khatib | Afp | Getty Images

Seven employees of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza overnight, the organization said in a statement Tuesday morning.

“World Central Kitchen is devastated to confirm that seven members of our team were killed in an IDF attack in Gaza,” the group said. “The WCK team was traveling in a conflict-free zone in two WCK-branded armored cars and a soft-skinned vehicle.”

“Although the movements were coordinated with the IDF, the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid that had been brought to Gaza by sea.”

World Central Kitchen was founded in 2010 by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Jose Andres as a food charity following a massive earthquake in Haiti. Since then, hundreds of millions of meals have been provided in conflict zones around the world, including in Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.

“This is not just an attack against WCK, it is an attack on humanitarian organizations that appear in the worst situations where food is used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said the organization’s CEO, Erin Gore.

The seven aid workers killed were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada and the Palestinian territories, WCK said.

“Today @WCKitchen lost several of our sisters and brothers in an IDF airstrike in Gaza,” wrote WCK founder Andres. “I am heartbroken and mourn their families and friends and our entire WCK family…The Israeli government must stop this indiscriminate killing.”

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment. In a statement early Tuesday cited by The New York Times, the military said it was conducting “a thorough, high-level review to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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2024-04-02 07:40:09