Humanitarian Organizations Halt Gaza Aid After 7 World Central Kitchen Workers Killed in Israeli Airstrike

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 03, 2024 07:52 AM EDT

After seven workers from the World Central Kitchen died in an Israeli airstrike on Tuesday, many humanitarian relief groups ceased their activities in Gaza. 

World Central Kitchen is one of the many nonprofit organizations that has said it must now assess the safety of its employees before deciding to send them back to the area to offer assistance. Unfortunately, the United Nations reported over 180 humanitarian relief workers' deaths since the war started in October.

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.
(Photo : AFP via Getty Images)

World Central Kitchen Vehicles Hit by Israeli Airstrike

According to The Associated Press, three vehicles belonging to World Central Kitchen were attacked and destroyed after they were loaded with food from a neighboring warehouse. The organization asserted that the Israeli military was aware of their whereabouts and targeted them.

Aid workers in the area are understandably anxious, given that humanitarian workers were targeted by military fire. Chris Skopec, executive vice president of global health at Project HOPE, said accountability is needed.

"The government of Israel needs to be able to give assurances that they consider aid workers legitimate actors in Gaza and that international law will be respected. We need to be able to do this critical, life-saving work safely," Skopec noted.

Project HOPE manages health clinics in Rafah and Deir al-Balah and distributes medical supplies and other relief to hospitals in the area.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that the "unintended strike" had been carried out by the nation's troops, Forbes reported. He assured the public that the government was investigating the strike and would take measures to prevent a recurrence.

Read Also: US Reportedly Greenlights the Transfer of Bombs, Fighter Jets to Israel

Humanitarian Aid Group Halts Operations in Gaza

Aid organization Anera, which works with World Central Kitchen and Project HOPE to alleviate distress in the Middle East, suspended its humanitarian activities in Gaza on Tuesday.  Since the conflict started, Anera's staff have given Gaza an average of 150,000 meals each day.

"The blatant nature of the attack on WCK's convoy has proven that aid workers are currently under attack. Our decision to resume aid relies on the safety of our staff," said Steve Fake, a public relations officer at Anera.

After the tragedy, the International Medical Corps is also reevaluating its process and intentions to establish a second field hospital in Deir al-Balah. The organization operates one of the largest field hospitals in Rafah, with 140 beds.

Read More: Biden Administration Set to Approve Multi-Billion Dollar Sale of Fighter Jets, More Weapons to Israel: Report

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