Apr 4, 2024 - World

World Central Kitchen wants independent probe of Israeli attack on aid convoy

A person inspects a World Central Kitchen vehicle hit by an Israeli airstrike.

A Palestinian checks a damaged World Central Kitchen vehicle after Israeli strikes in Deir el-Balah on April 2. Photo: Yasser Qudih/Xinhua via Getty Images

U.S.-based international aid group World Central Kitchen (WCK) called for an independent international investigation into the deadly Israeli airstrikes that killed seven of its employees.

Why it matters: The attack on the humanitarian workers has already stymied the delivery of critical aid to people in Gaza, who are on the brink of famine due to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Driving the news: WCK on Thursday called on Australia, Canada, the U.S., Poland, and the U.K. to join it in demanding an independent investigation to determine whether the attack was intentional or violated international law.

  • It added that it asked Israel to preserve all documents, communications, video and audio recordings or any other material related to the attack.
  • "An independent investigation is the only way to determine the truth of what happened, ensure transparency and accountability for those responsible, and prevent future attacks on humanitarian aid workers," WCK leadership said in a statement.

Catch up quick: The seven aid workers killed were from Australia, Poland, the U.K. and Palestine. One was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada.

  • WCK has suspended its operations in Gaza.
  • Israeli defense officials have said the attack was an accident and the result of a misidentification at night.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was unintentional and that his government launched an investigation but also said that "this happens in wartime."

Chef José Andrés, who founded the nonprofit, accused Israel on Wednesday of deliberately targeting his employees "systematically, car by car"

  • He said the "direct attack" occurred even though the workers were traveling in clearly marked vehicles and had coordinated their movements with the Israel Defense Forces.
  • Israeli officials denied Andrés' accusations, calling them "absurd."

The big picture: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Thursday that Israel explanation for the attack was "not good enough" and demanded accountability.

  • "What is not good enough is the statements that have been made, including that this is just a product of war," Albanese said during a press conference in Sydney, Reuters reported.
  • President Biden and Congressional Democrats have also condemned the attack, saying Israel has not done enough to protect civilians or aid workers throughout its military operation in Gaza.

Go deeper: Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz calls for early elections

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