US pushes Israel for ‘impartial’ investigation into killings of Gaza aid workers

World Central Kitchen workers were killed in a strike in the enclave

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris on Tuesday. AP
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The US has told Israel to conduct a “thorough and impartial” investigation into a strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers from the World Central Kitchen in Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

The aid workers included a US-Canadian dual citizen and three Britons. The others came from Australia, Poland and Palestine.

Israeli forces fired multiple times on their convoy of armoured cars that displayed the aid group's logo.

“We’ve spoken directly to the Israeli Government about this particular incident,” Mr Blinken said during a visit to France.

“We've arranged a swift and thorough and impartial investigation to understand exactly what happened. We've pressed upon the Israelis the absolute imperative of doing more to protect innocent civilian lives”.

According to World Central Kitchen, its team had been co-ordinating their movements with the Israeli military.

“This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said chief executive Erin Gore.

The convoy was struck by three separate missiles fired in quick succession, Haaretz reported.

Mr Blinken called the aid workers “heroes” who “run into fire” to help people.

Washington has been Israel’s fiercest supporter throughout the six-month conflict and has donated billions of dollars of military aid including bombs that Israel uses in Gaza without any US oversight or conditions.

“These arms transfers, every single one happens consistent with statutory and policy requirements,” Mr Blinken said. “That includes both informal and formal notifications to Congress.”

World Central Kitchen, led by Washington-based celebrity chef Jose Andres, has been instrumental in delivering food aid to Gaza, which is on the brink of famine.

According to the group, they have delivered over 100 tonnes of food.

Mr Andres said he had served with those killed in a host of other dangerous environments including Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey and Morocco.

The organisation said it was pausing its Gaza operations.

Updated: April 03, 2024, 8:40 AM