Jose Andres says WCK workers in Gaza Strip died in Israeli strike

Jose Andres, founder of World Central Kitchen, said on Monday that several of his group’s employees were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. Celebrity chef Andres called the deceased “sisters and brothers” and “angels.” statement on social media.

food aid nonprofit, The company, which has been prominently involved in relief efforts in the Gaza Strip, said it was seeking more information after reports that several employees in the enclave were killed in a strike.

A spokesperson for the organization said: “We are aware of reports that a World Central Kitchen team member was killed in an Israeli Defense Force attack while working to support humanitarian food delivery operations in Gaza.” said. “This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be targeted.”

World Central Kitchen did not name the deceased in a statement, but a video of a press conference held at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital on Monday showed passports and passports of foreigners from the UK, Poland and Australia. The footage shows the deceased and one person who has been identified. As a Palestinian. Some of the dead appeared to be wearing clothes with the World Central Kitchen logo on them.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement the same day that it was aware of the reports and was conducting a “thorough investigation at the highest level to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

The reported strike could be the first time a foreign aid worker has been killed in Gaza since the war began on October 7, but a record number of Palestinians employed by the U.N. was killed in the conflict.

“The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon,” Andres said. wrote. on social media.

The food aid nonprofit World Central Kitchen announced on April 1 that several of its employees in the Gaza Strip have been killed in a strike. (Video: Associated Press)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was “urgently investigating” reports that an Australian aid worker was killed in the incident.

“I am very concerned about the loss of life that is occurring in Gaza,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday. “My government has supported a sustainable ceasefire. We have called for the release of hostages, but too many innocent lives, both Palestinian and Israeli, have been lost in the Gaza-Hamas conflict. Lost.”

Israel faces increasing pressure from the United States and other Western allies over the war’s humanitarian toll and pressing international humanitarian law issues. In an order last week, the International Court of Justice called on Israel to “take all necessary and effective measures” to ensure the provision of basic services and humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the enclave.

“I also served with [them] In Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas and Indonesia,” Andres wrote of those killed on Monday. “They are not faceless… They are not nameless.”

“If they’re aid workers, they’re civilians, and civilians are protected from attack under the laws of war,” said Brian, former State Department general counsel and current senior adviser at Crisis Group. – Mr Finucane said.

“The time has come for everyone to condemn the massacre that took place today and to denounce the massacre that affected four foreign nationals working in the Gaza Strip,” Ismail al-Tawabta, head of the Gaza government’s press office, said at a press conference on Monday. ” he said. ”

Spanish-born Andres founded World Central Kitchen in 2010. It quickly grew into a high-profile relief organization for natural disasters and conflict areas, as Andres used his position to raise awareness of local crises in places like Ukraine and Haiti.

In Gaza, the organization led the construction of the most notable pier, allowing a ship chartered by Spanish search and rescue group Open Arms to deliver around 200 tons of food and water to the enclave.

Israel has declared a total siege of the Gaza Strip to eliminate the militant group Hamas, which was behind the October 7 attack on Israel. Global emergency experts have warned that up to half of Gaza’s population could face starvation by July.

in statement World Central Kitchen announced last month that it has served more than 35 million meals since the war began and opened more than 60 community kitchens across Gaza.

The Wall Street Journal said Mr. Andres had personally lobbied the Israeli government to allow more food to flow into Gaza. report. IDF said in a statement Monday that it is working with World Central Kitchen to support the group’s efforts.

“IDF is making extensive efforts and working closely with countries to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian supplies. [World Central Kitchen] “We are committed to the critical effort of providing food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,” the IDF said in a statement.

Michael Miller in Sydney and Kelsey Ables in Seoul contributed to this report.

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