Israel: ‘Seriously wrong’ bombing of American NGOs in Gaza Strip · Global Voices

The air bombardment launched from last Monday (01.04.2024) resulting in the fatal injuries of seven World Central Kitchen workers in the Gaza Strip, was a “serious mistake”, admitted the head of the army today. “This incident was a serious mistake,” said Israeli general defense staff chief Herchi Khalevi, in a video message uploaded to X (former Twitter). He invoked “wrong night reconnaissance” in “very complicated conditions”. Yesterday Tuesday Israel’s president Isaac Herchog expressed his “moral condolences” and “deep sorrow” for the bombing, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of a blow “without intention”, of a “tragic” incident. WCK, which is based in the United States, was among the few non-governmental organisations still operating in the Palestinian enclave, in which disasters are huge due to the war that in a few days complements half a year; announced that it “suspends its activity” after the Monday night bombing against cars that brought its logo in Deir al Bala (centrally). Governments and international organisations reacted very strongly, with the UN denouncing the “disdain of international humanitarian law” by the Israeli army and even the US, Israel’s closest ally at international level, expressing “aggression”. President Biden, “indignant” and “distressed”, considered that Israel’s army did not “enoughly protect” volunteers who go to distribute food to the “hungry” Palestinians in the enclave under siege. “This is unacceptable” and was “an unavoidable consequence of the way the war is waged,” the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held for his part, reiterating for the manyth time his call for a immediate ceasefire, for the hostages to be released and for greater quantities of aid to Gaza to be allowed to enter. The death of the seven members of the World Central Kitchen increases the total number of victims in the humanitarian groups in 196, “of which more than 175 worked for the UN,” he reminded. International reactions WCK, “confused” for the death of its team members, posted its names, nationalities, ages and photographs to X. It was a 25-year-old Palestinian, 43-year-old Australian, 35-year-old Polish, 33-year-old American Canadian, as well as three British, respectively 57, 33 and 47 years old. Since the outbreak of war, WCK has participated in humanitarian operations by distributing meals in the Gaza Strip, where the majority of approximately 2.4 million inhabitants are facing famine, according to the UN. He contributed to the mission of the first ship to depart for the enclave in mid-March from Cyprus. The U.S. demanded Israel conduct a “fast and impartial” investigation, while Britain called on Israel’s ambassador to express his “condemnation”. For his part Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanesi today expressed to his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu the Australians’ “heavy” for “this tragedy”. On Monday, a correspondent from the French Agency saw at the hospital of Al Aksha Witnesses, Deir al Bala, five bodies and three foreign passports alongside them. The bodies of the six Westerns are expected to be transferred today to the border post in Rafa in view of their repatriation, said Marwan al Hams, director of Abu Najar hospital, in this city on the border with Egypt. Since the outbreak of the war, non-governmental organizations present in the Gaza Strip have reported that their workers or facilities have been targeted by Israeli bombings. Due to the difficulty of entering humanitarian aid through land routes into the Palestinian enclave under siege, a first ship with humanitarian aid arrived in Gaza a few 24 hours after sailing from Cyprus in mid-March. But the second vessel, Jennifer, which was near the coast of the Gaza Strip, turned around and returned to the port from which he had departed, without delivering the nearly 240 tons of food he carried, after the bombing that led to the suspension of WCK’s activity. The war, which is on its 180th day, sparked the attack of the Hamas military arm on southern areas of Israeli territory on October 7, when more than 1,160 people died, in their majority of civilians, according to an account of the French Agency based on official Israeli data. According to Israeli sources, more than 250 people were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip, of which they are believed to still be held in the enclave of more than 130 — but 34 of them are thought to be dead. Israel’s political-military leadership vowed to wipe out Hamas and at least 32,916 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israeli operations in retaliation in the Gaza Strip since, according to the latest report by the Hamas Health Ministry, released yesterday Tuesday. Netanyahu, “the traitor” On Monday, after 18 days of operations, Israeli troops left the Shifa hospital complex of Gaza, leaving behind huge disasters and bodies. The Israeli army said its forces “killed over 200 terrorists and arrested by 900 suspects”, accusing Hamas, who considers a “terrorist” organization, like the US and the EU, of using the hospital as a “management centre”. The political protection in Gaza, which is run by the Palestinian Islamist movement, mentioned some 300 dead inside the hospital and around it in Israeli operations. “Condemnation and complaint are not enough in the face of crimes continuing in Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa said yesterday. The Hamas Health Ministry reported early today that 60 more people were killed in the enclave within the last few hours. In Jerusalem, for the fourth consecutive night, members of hostage families in the Gaza Strip and opponents of Mr Netanyahu’s government gathered again in front of parliament to express their outrage at the Prime Minister’s policy. “Protect a campaign against me, against the hostages’ families, you turned against us. You call us ‘traitors’ when you are the traitor, traitor of your people, of your voters, of the state of Israel”, broke out in the microphone Ainav Zagawker, whose son remains hostage in Gaza. This morning it was announced by their agency that four Israeli police officers were injured in a car attack against a checkpoint in the central part of the country. The shooter is dead, the police clarified.