DTraffic on the new maritime corridor had finally picked up speed. The second convoy of ships arrived in Gaza on Monday, and on Tuesday morning the aid organization “World Central Kitchen” (WCK), run by the Spanish-born star chef José Andrés, stopped the entire operation: “World Central Kitchen is ceasing its work in the region with immediate effect. We will soon make decisions about the future of our work,” the non-governmental organization said.

Seven employees of the aid organization were killed in a rocket attack by the Israeli army on Tuesday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Tuesday of an “accidental” attack on humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip. “Unfortunately, a tragic incident occurred yesterday in which our forces inadvertently struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem on Tuesday as he left hospital after surgery. “This happens in war, we examine it thoroughly,” he said. His government is in contact with the governments of those affected and will “do everything to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.”

According to the aid organization WCK, the helpers came from Australia, Poland and the United Kingdom; one of them had American and Canadian citizenship, three were Palestinian. The WCK team was traveling with three vehicles that had the organization's logo on them and two of which were armored. The trip was coordinated with the Israeli army, the statement said. The convoy was hit as it left the warehouse in Deir al-Balah, where they were unloading food aid that was delivered to Gaza by sea on Monday in a new convoy of ships.

“The Israeli government must stop this indiscriminate killing. It must stop restricting humanitarian aid, killing civilians and aid workers, and using food as a weapon. No more innocent deaths!” wrote WCK founder José Andrés on the X platform.

A destroyed car belonging to the NGO World Central Kitchen (WCK) in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday


A destroyed car belonging to the NGO World Central Kitchen (WCK) in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday
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Image: EPA

The Israeli army said it would “conduct an in-depth, high-level investigation to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.” An army spokesman said he had personally expressed the Israel Defense Forces' condolences to the WCK founder: “We will get to the bottom of the matter and pass on our findings transparently.” The incident will be investigated by an independent, professional and expert committee.

The spokesman praised the NGO's work, which is of “crucial importance”. Israel is making “great efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.” It was remarkable that Israel allowed the NGO to establish the first sea corridor in the Gaza Strip, which had been closed off for many years, in the middle of the war.

Video footage and photos posted online showed seven bodies in Deir al-Balah hospital. Several of them wore protective clothing with the aid organization's logo and carried British, Australian and Polish passports.

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