World Central Kitchen halts Gaza operations after air strike kills 7 aid workers

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / People gather around the carcass of a car used by US-based aid group World Central Kitchen, that was hit by an Israeli strike the previous day in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on April 2, 2024, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The international food aid charity said on April 2 it was pausing its Gaza aid operations after seven of its staff were killed in a “targeted Israeli strike” as they unloaded desperately needed food aid delivered by sea from Cyprus. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

International food charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) is suspending operations in Gaza after an Israeli air strike killed seven of its workers. The charity said the victims were part of an aid convoy that was leaving a warehouse in central Gaza on Monday. WCK announced that it was suspending delivery of vital food aid to Gaza on Tuesday.

Footage showed the bodies of the slain at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah. The victims include three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen, and a Palestinian, according to hospital records. Other footage of the aftermath of the strike showed a vehicle with the charity’s logo printed across its roof to make it identifiable from the air. The air strike went through the roof of the vehicle and left a large hole.

Ships carrying 240 tons of aid that arrived on Monday are turning back from Gaza, according to Cyprus, which has played a key role in establishing a sea route to bring food into the territory. Israel’s offensive in Gaza has pushed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the brink of starvation and it has only allowed a trickle of aid into northern Gaza, where experts say famine is imminent.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that Israel’s forces had carried out the “unintended strike”, killing “innocent people”. He added that officials were looking into the attack and will work to ensure that an incident like this is not repeated. Gaza’s Hamas-run media office also blamed Israel.

World Central Kitchen, is a food charity founded by celebrity chef José Andrés and has been a key player in bringing in food to the region.

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