Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledges unintentional killing of aid workers in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

2nd April 2024 – (Jerusalem) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly admitted on Tuesday that Israeli armed forces had “unintentionally” caused the death of seven aid workers in an airstrike in Gaza. Netanyahu made the statement while leaving a hospital in Jerusalem after undergoing a hernia operation.

“In the last day, unfortunately, there was a tragic incident where our forces unintentionally struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu stated. He assured that a thorough investigation would be conducted, adding, “We are in contact with the governments involved, and we will take all necessary measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.”

The seven victims were employees of the US-based organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), which had been providing food aid to the war-torn Gaza Strip via sea routes from Cyprus. In response to what it described as a “targeted Israeli strike” on Monday, WCK temporarily halted its operations in Gaza. The organization identified the deceased as individuals from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine.

Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for the Israeli military, expressed the military’s “deepest condolences” to WCK founder and celebrity chef Jose Andres. The Israeli military’s Fact Finding and Assessment Mechanism will carry out an investigation, with the findings to be shared transparently.

Israel’s Chief of the General Staff, Herzi Halevi, will personally review the initial inquiry’s results tonight, according to an army spokesperson. The United Nations agencies have repeatedly warned about the dire situation in northern Gaza, highlighting the risk of famine caused by man-made factors.

The 7th October attack, which triggered the bloodiest-ever Gaza war, resulted in around 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to figures from Israeli authorities cited by AFP. In response, Israel launched a retaliatory campaign aimed at targeting Hamas, resulting in the deaths of at least 32,916 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.