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Biden condemns Israel for not protecting aid workers in Gaza after deaths of seven

"Incidents like yesterday's simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians," he said.

Published: April 2, 2024 9:06pm

President Joe Biden on Tuesday furiously condemned what he deemed the Israeli government's failure to protect aid workers in Gaza amid Jerusalem's invasion of the coastal region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Tuesday that an Israeli air strike had killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers, saying "there was a tragic incident of an unintended strike of our forces on innocent people in the Gaza Strip." World Central Kitchen has since announced it would pause operations in the Gaza Strip.

"I am outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of seven humanitarian aid workers from World Central Kitchen, including one American in Gaza yesterday," Biden said in a statement. "They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war. They were brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy."

"Israel has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into why the aid workers' vehicles were hit by airstrikes," he went on. "That investigation must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public."

"Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident," Biden added. "This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed. This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult - because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians."

"Incidents like yesterday's simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians," he said. "The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties."

Israel has attracted widespread international scrutiny over its invasion of the strip, which it launched in response to an Oct. 7 Hamas raid that saw the group's forces kill 1,200 civilians and seize more than 200 hostages.

Last month, the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the region. 

His Tuesday comments are far form the first instance of public disagreement between Biden and the Israeli government. The president has previously called the invasion "over the top" and has openly warned Jerusalem against attacking the city of Rafah, a directive Netanyahu has indicated he will ignore.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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