World Central Kitchen Demands an Independent Investigation Into Israeli Strike


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World Central Kitchen on Thursday called for an independent investigation into the killing by Israeli forces of seven of its staff members this week as they worked to deliver aid in Gaza.

Governments around the world have condemned the killing of the workers. They included a man from Gaza and citizens of Australia, Britain and Poland, as well as a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has said that Israel “deeply regrets” the strikes, in which the military fired upon three vehicles carrying the aid workers on a coastal road in Gaza on Monday night. He said that Israel would make sure it did not happen again.

Israel’s military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, said on Tuesday that the attack followed a misidentification, and that the Israeli military had started an investigation. But World Central Kitchen, the disaster relief organization founded by the Spanish chef José Andrés, issued a statement Thursday saying that was not enough.

“We have asked the governments of Australia, Canada, the United States of America, Poland and the United Kingdom to join us in demanding an independent, third-party investigation into these attacks, including whether they were carried out intentionally or otherwise violated international law,” the group said.

Other Israeli actions in Gaza have prompted similar calls. In one example, António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, said in February that there needed to be an independent investigation of an incident in which dozens of people died while trying to collect aid, after Israeli forces opened fire and there was a stampede. To date, no such investigation has begun.

World Central Kitchen also called on Israel to preserve any documentation related to the strikes, and pushed back on Mr. Netanyahu’s assertion that the mistake was something that “happens in war.”

“This was a military attack that involved multiple strikes and targeted three W.C.K. vehicles,” the statement said. “All three vehicles were carrying civilians; they were marked as W.C.K. vehicles; and their movements were in full compliance with Israeli authorities.”

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