Biden administration "outraged" by Israeli airstrike killing aid workers in Gaza: White House

World Wednesday 03/April/2024 07:12 AM
Biden administration "outraged" by Israeli airstrike killing aid workers in Gaza: White House

Washington, DC: The Biden administration is outraged and has expressed deep dismay over an Israeli airstrike that resulted in the tragic deaths of seven aid workers in Gaza, a White House official said on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden also spoke with Jose Andres, the founder of the affected organisation and conveyed his condolences.

"We were outraged to learn of an IDF strike that killed a number of civilian humanitarian workers yesterday from the World Central Kitchen, which has been relentlessly working to get food to those who are hungry in Gaza, and quite frankly, around the world," White House national security spokesman John Kirby said at a news briefing Tuesday, adding, "We send our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones."

Kirby emphasised that both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Defence Forces have pledged to conduct an investigation "in a swift and comprehensive manner."

"We hope that those findings will be made public and that there is appropriate accountability held," Kirby said.

He noted that an initial inquiry had already been completed.

Furthermore, Kirby highlighted that one of the victims was a dual-national United States citizen.

An Israeli military strike on Monday night resulted in the tragic deaths of seven aid workers from the non-profit organisation World Central Kitchen as they were delivering food to starving civilians in Gaza.

The workers were traveling in two armoured cars marked with the charity's logo and another vehicle, CNN Reported.

Among those killed were three British nationals, a dual US-Canadian citizen, individuals from Australia and Poland, and a Palestinian.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the incident, stating that "innocent people" were "unintentionally struck" by the military. The Israel Defence Forces pledged to "at the highest levels."

Meanwhile, World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres slammed the Israeli government, saying it "needs to stop this indiscriminate killing."

Israeli President Isaac Herzog apologised to Andres and expressed condolences to the families of the aid workers. He assured a thorough investigation into the tragedy.

Herzog "expressed his deep sorrow and sincere apologies over the tragic loss of life of WCK staff in the Gaza Strip last night, and sent his condolences to their families and loved ones," according to a post on X from the presidency.

"The President reiterated Israel's commitment to ensuring a thorough investigation of the tragedy," the post read.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has proven particularly deadly for aid workers, with this incident marking one of the deadliest in over two decades, according to the Aid Worker Security Database. In less than six months, nearly 200 aid workers have been killed in Gaza, surpassing casualties in other conflicts such as Afghanistan, Syria, and South Sudan over the past 20 years, as reported by CNN.

The Aid Worker Security data encompasses workers from various humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations. Since October 7, more than 170 UN staff members have been reported killed, marking the highest number of casualties among UN personnel in history.

Additionally, fifteen Palestine Red Crescent Society workers and volunteers have lost their lives, as reported by the UN on March 29, CNN reported.