Strike Kills Staff, Causing World Central Kitchen to Halt Operations in Gaza

World Central Kitchen (WCK), an international food charity, has made the difficult decision to suspend its operations in Gaza. This comes after the tragic loss of seven of its workers in an Israeli air strike.

The charity reported that the individuals who lost their lives were part of an aid convoy departing from a warehouse in central Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that they are currently conducting a comprehensive examination of the incident.

Gaza’s media office, which is controlled by Hamas, also pointed the finger at Israel.

WCK plays a crucial role in providing much-needed assistance to Gaza.

The charity reported that the aid convoy was struck as it departed from the Deir al-Balah warehouse. The team had previously unloaded over 100 tons of humanitarian food aid that was delivered to Gaza via the maritime route.

The charity stated that it had organized the convoy’s movements in coordination with the IDF when it was struck.

According to a Palestinian medical source, the workers were wearing bullet-proof vests with the WCK logo.

The IDF announced on Tuesday that it is currently conducting a comprehensive review at the highest level in order to gain a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident.

“The IDF is committed to ensuring the secure delivery of humanitarian aid and has been collaborating closely with WCK to support their crucial mission of providing food and humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza,” it stated.

As reported by WCK, the unfortunate incident claimed the lives of individuals from various nationalities, including Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, Palestine, and a citizen holding dual US-Canadian citizenship.

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“It is with deep sadness and shock that we mourn the loss of precious lives today due to a deliberate attack,” expressed Erin Gore, CEO of World Central Kitchen.

“The love they had for nourishing others, the unwavering determination they exemplified to demonstrate that humanity triumphs over all, and the profound impact they had on numerous lives will always be remembered and treasured.”

As per Cogat, the Israeli defence ministry body responsible for co-ordinating aid deliveries to Gaza, the charity is accountable for 60% of the non-governmental aid reaching Gaza.

According to a recent statement by WCK, they have provided over 42 million meals to individuals in Gaza since October and are prepared to offer an additional one million meals.

The charity recently gained attention for its efforts in delivering a significant amount of food to Gazans. This was made possible through the transportation of supplies on the first aid ship in March.

Aid agencies have started using sea transportation to enhance the delivery of aid, aiming to increase the amount reaching the territory that the UN warns is on the verge of famine.

World Central Kitchen was established by Mr. Andres and his wife Patricia in 2010, with the initial purpose of providing food for survivors of a significant earthquake in Haiti.

Mr. Andrés took to social media to express his deep concern over the tragic loss of his staff, urging the Israeli government to put an end to the tragic violence.

Just last week, Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom made an appearance in a video for World Central Kitchen (WCK)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of aid worker Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, confirming her tragic death.

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In a statement, he emphasized the individual’s selfless act of volunteering overseas to provide aid through a charity for those experiencing immense hardship in Gaza. And this is absolutely outrageous.”

The speaker expressed Australia’s desire for complete responsibility, emphasizing that this unfortunate event should never have happened.

Wojciech Bakun, the mayor of the Polish city of Przemysl, shared the unfortunate news that Damian Soból, who hailed from the area, was also among those who tragically lost their lives.

Mr Bakun praised Mr Soból as an exceptional individual, expressing the indescribable emotions felt by those who were acquainted with him.

The Polish foreign ministry has stated that it is currently in the process of seeking urgent official confirmation from the Israeli government regarding the victim’s identity, following reports of an incident.

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, expressed profound sadness and concern over the tragic incident involving the loss of life of aid workers in Gaza.

“It is crucial to ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers as they provide essential assistance, and we strongly encourage Israel to promptly conduct an investigation into the incident.”

Before receiving confirmation of an Australian national’s death in the incident, the Australian foreign ministry emphasized the importance of ensuring safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian workers in Gaza to carry out their life-saving work.

Efforts have been made to reach out to the UK Foreign Office and Polish foreign ministry for their input.

A significant portion of the Gaza Strip has been severely damaged due to the Israeli military operations that commenced following an attack by Hamas gunmen on southern Israel. This attack resulted in the loss of approximately 1,200 lives and the capture of 253 hostages.

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There are still around 130 hostages being held captive, with the unfortunate presumption that at least 34 of them have lost their lives.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, the number of casualties in Gaza has tragically reached over 32,8450.

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