Charity Groups Stop Work in Gaza After Israeli Attacks Leave World Central Kitchen Staff Dead

Aid Groups Suspend Operations In Gaza After Israeli Airstrikes Kill World Central Kitchen Workers

Several humanitarian aid organizations have made the difficult decision to suspend their operations in Gaza following a tragic incident involving Israeli airstrikes that resulted in the loss of seven World Central Kitchen workers.

Among the affected nonprofits is World Central Kitchen, which expressed the urgent need to assess the safety of their staff in delivering aid within the region. The United Nations reports a distressing tally of over 180 humanitarian aid workers losing their lives since the conflict erupted in October.

Chris Skopec, Executive Vice President of Global Health at Project HOPE, expressed profound sorrow over the loss of the seven innocent humanitarians in Gaza. Project HOPE operates health clinics in Rafah and Deir al-Balah, providing crucial medical supplies and aid to local hospitals.

The World Central Kitchen vehicles, which were struck after loading up with food from a nearby warehouse, were unmistakably marked, and their movements were reportedly known to the Israeli military. Skopec emphasized that such precautions are standard protocol for humanitarian workers operating in hazardous zones. The fact that the convoy was still targeted despite these measures has heightened concerns among aid workers in the region.

Charity Groups Stop Work in Gaza After Israeli Attacks Leave World Central Kitchen Staff Dead
Charity Groups Stop Work in Gaza After Israeli Attacks Leave World Central Kitchen Staff Dead (Credits: Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Skopec stressed the importance of accountability, stating that the Israeli government must recognize aid workers as legitimate actors in Gaza and uphold international law to ensure their safety while carrying out life-saving operations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the tragic incident, describing it as an “unintended strike” on innocent individuals. He assured that investigations were underway to prevent such occurrences in the future.

John Kirby, White House national security spokesman, expressed the United States’ concern over the potential chilling effect this incident might have on other humanitarian groups operating in Gaza.

Anera, a partner organization of World Central Kitchen and Project HOPE, also announced the suspension of its humanitarian operations in Gaza, citing concerns over the safety of its staff. Since the onset of the conflict, Anera has been providing an average of 150,000 meals daily in Gaza.

Steve Fake, Anera’s media relations officer, highlighted the alarming nature of the attack on World Central Kitchen’s convoy, underscoring the perilous situation aid workers currently face. He emphasized that the decision to resume aid operations hinges on ensuring the safety of their personnel.

The International Medical Corps, which operates one of the largest field hospitals in Rafah with 140 beds, stated that it is reassessing its operations, including plans to establish another field hospital in Deir al-Balah.

Dr. Zawar Ali, who oversees the Rafah field hospital and is involved in setting up the new facility, expressed devastation over the incident. He emphasized the profound impact it has had on morale and the uncertainty it has created regarding coordination with various stakeholders for security measures.

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