IDF Chief Addresses Tragic Deaths of Aid Workers in Gaza Airstrike

By Yoni Weiss

Palestinians inspect a vehicle with the logo of the World Central Kitchen wrecked by an Israeli airstrike in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ismael Abu Dayyah)

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the IDF, issued a statement regarding the unfortunate incident resulting in the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) employees in the Gaza Strip due to an airstrike.

Halevi began by acknowledging the humanitarian work carried out by the WCK globally, including in Israel, expressing the IDF’s appreciation for their efforts.

He clarified during a special address that there was no intentional targeting of WCK aid workers, emphasizing that the tragic event was a result of mistaken identification under challenging nighttime war conditions. He acknowledged the gravity of the situation, stating it should not have occurred.

The IDF chief shared that initial findings were presented to him at the Southern Command headquarters. He highlighted the establishment of a new humanitarian coordination center aimed at improving aid distribution in Gaza.

Asserting Israel’s commitment to safeguarding international aid organizations, Halevi reiterated that the conflict was with Hamas, not Gaza’s civilians. He extended heartfelt apologies for inadvertently causing harm to WCK workers, expressing sympathy for their families and the organization’s loss.

Halevi assured a thorough investigation by the IDF Investigation Mechanism, promising transparent sharing of findings with WCK and other relevant bodies. He underscored the importance of continuing humanitarian aid efforts and pledged to implement lessons learned from the investigation promptly.

The IDF chief concluded by reiterating that the incident was a severe mistake and reaffirming Israel’s commitment to ensuring such tragedies are not repeated.

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