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Netanyahu acknowledges Israel launched airstrike that killed 7 World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza

Israel says independent officials are investigating the incident.

Published: April 2, 2024 7:59am

Updated: April 2, 2024 8:19am

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers with the World Central Kitchen, a food charity founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres.

"Unfortunately over the last day there was a tragic incident of an unintended strike of our forces on innocent people in the Gaza Strip," Netanyahu said in a video posted on X, as translated.

Netanyahu, who had been released from the hospital earlier in the day after undergoing a hernia operation, also said that officials are investigating the incident and will work to prevent anything like it from happening again.

The World Central Kitchen said it is pausing operations in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli airstrike killed seven of its aid workers, six of whom were foreign nationals.

The charity said its team coordinated movements with the Israel Defense Forces as its convoy consisting of two armored cars with the World Central Kitchen logo and a soft skin vehicle traveled in a deconflicted zone. The convoy was hit when it left a warehouse in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, "where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route," per the charity.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari said that the "tragic" incident will be investigated by an independent agency.

Hagari also said the Israeli Army has been working with the World Central Kitchen over the past few months to deliver aid, and he spoke with Andres to express his condolences.

Among those killed are three British nationals, an American-Canadian dual citizen, an Australian, a Polish national and a Palestinian, according to hospital records viewed by The Associated Press.

The charity said it is "pausing our operations immediately in the region" and "will be making decisions about the future of our work soon."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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