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Israeli military admits ‘grave error’ in airstrike that tragically claimed the lives of 7 aid workers in Gaza.”

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Israel’s military said Wednesday its airstrike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza was “a grave mistake.”

Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi attributed the attack, which killed members of the aid group World Central Kitchen (WCK), to “a misidentification at night, during a war, in very complex conditions.”

“WCK is an organization whose people work across the globe, including in Israel, to do good in difficult conditions,” Halevi said in a video statement. “The IDF works together closely with the World Central Kitchen and greatly appreciates the important work that they do.”

World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés said in an essay published Wednesday in The New York Times that Israel carried out “a direct attack on clearly marked vehicles whose movements were known by the Israel Defense Forces.”

Andrés said the attack was the result of “a policy that squeezed humanitarian aid to desperate levels,” referencing complaints from humanitarian organizations about the difficulty of getting aid into Gaza and into the hands of Palestinians who are desperately in need of help amid the Israel-Hamas war.

“In the worst conditions, after the worst terrorist attack in its history, it’s time for the best of Israel to show up,” Andrés said. “You cannot save the hostages by bombing every building in Gaza. You cannot win this war by starving an entire population.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said late Tuesday he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the attack.

“They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war. They were brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy,” Biden said in a statement.

The U.S. leader said Tuesday’s attack was not a stand-alone incident, and that Israel “has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians.”

“The United States will continue to do all we can to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, through all available means,” Biden said. “I will continue to press Israel to do more to facilitate that aid. And we are pushing hard for an immediate ceasefire as part of a hostage deal.”

World Central Kitchen said it was immediately pausing its humanitarian efforts in the region following the attack.

The charity said in a statement that it had completed a delivery of 100 tons of food aid to a warehouse in Deir al-Balah, and that a convoy of two armored cars with the group’s logo was leaving the site when it was struck.

World Central Kitchen said the group had coordinated its movements in advance with the Israeli military.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that the country’s forces had carried out the “unintended strike … on innocent people.”

“Unfortunately, in the past day there was a tragic event in which our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said in a video statement Tuesday.

“This happens in war. We are conducting a thorough inquiry and are in contact with the governments. We will do everything to prevent a recurrence.

Those killed included a Palestinian, three British citizens, Polish and Australian nationals, and a Canadian-American dual national.

Israel launched its campaign to eliminate Hamas after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies, and led to the capture of about 250 hostages.

Israel’s counter-offensive in Gaza has killed at least 32,975 people, two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. The Israeli military says one-third of those killed have been militants.

additional source :voa

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