World

World Central Kitchen Says Several Workers Killed in Gaza Airstrike

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International aid workers from World Central Kitchen, a disaster relief nonprofit that has become a crucial source of food for desperate Gazans, were killed in an airstrike in Gaza, according to José Andrés, the chef who founded the organization.

Mr. Andrés said on the X platform that “several of our sisters and brothers” were killed in the airstrike, which was reported late Monday in Deir al-Balah, a city in central Gaza. He said the Israeli military had carried out the strike, though that could not be immediately confirmed.

Graphic video footage from the aftermath showed five dead bodies, three of which had passports on their chests identifying them as citizens of Poland, Australia and Britain. Some of the victims wore protective gear with visible World Central Kitchen patches. The nationalities of the other two could not be immediately confirmed.

The Israeli military said in a statement early Tuesday that it was “conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

The military said it “makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with W.C.K. in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia said that the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was “urgently investigating” the reports that an Australian aid worker had been killed.

“I’m very concerned about the loss of life that is occurring in Gaza,” he said. “My government has supported a sustainable cease-fire, we’ve called for the release of hostages, and there have been far too many innocent lives — Palestinian and Israeli — lost during the Gaza-Hamas conflict.”

World Central Kitchen has become a key organization in the perilous, politically fraught efforts to distribute humanitarian aid to desperate Gazans. Israel has severely limited the aid that reaches Gaza through land crossings, leaving shipments by sea as an increasingly important means of delivering food to the enclave. A vessel carrying 400 tons of food left Cyprus for Gaza on Saturday.

The Israeli military has said that it provided security and coordination to the organization in prior operations.

World Central Kitchen said in a statement on Monday that it was “aware of reports” that its staff members were killed “in an I.D.F. attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza,” referring to the Israel Defense Forces.

“This is a tragedy,” the organization said. “Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be a target. Ever.”

Mr. Andrés said in his social media post that the Israeli government “needs to stop this indiscriminate killing.

“It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon.”

Damien Cave contributed reporting from Sydney, and Anushka Patil from New York.



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