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Democrats Express Anger Toward Israel Following Deadly Strike on World Central Kitchen Convoy

World Central Kitchen Convoy (Credits: ABC News)

House Democrats are expressing serious concerns about Israel’s military actions in Gaza following a recent strike that killed seven workers from a respected humanitarian aid organization providing food to starving Palestinians.

The incident has brought attention to the strained relationship between Israel’s conservative leaders, whose forceful response to the Hamas attacks on October 7 has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinians, and liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill, who have become increasingly vocal in criticizing the tactics of their closest Middle Eastern ally.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an unusual public statement expressing regret for Monday’s deadly incident, which targeted a convoy of vehicles operated by the World Central Kitchen, calling it “unintended.”

World Central Kitchen (Credits: You’ve Got Maids)

However, this apology did little to ease the concerns of Democrats, who accused Israel of conducting an indiscriminate campaign that has failed to adequately protect the lives of civilians, journalists, and aid workers caught in the conflict with Hamas terrorists.

“The killing of seven World Central Kitchen workers delivering desperately needed food aid in Gaza is unacceptable,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Speaker of the House.

“The Israeli government must allow the delivery of life-saving aid to innocent families in Gaza and ensure safe passage for those delivering the aid. Hunger should not be used as a weapon of war. We must share our food and our humanity.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) echoed similar sentiments, calling the strike on aid workers “shameful” and urging “an immediate ceasefire” to allow for more humanitarian assistance.

The incident has underscored the long-standing tensions between liberal Democrats and the conservative Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

The World Central Kitchen (Credits: NBC News)

While Democrats have previously supported Israel’s right to defend itself from regional threats, particularly in response to the Hamas attacks, their tone has shifted as the Palestinian death toll has risen and humanitarian aid has been limited, leading to warnings of famine.

The World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, had been providing food aid in Gaza prior to the strike. The suspension of their operations following the incident has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and prompted further criticism from Netanyahu’s Democratic critics.

“The loss of innocent civilians and the risk to aid workers throughout this conflict has been devastating— all while Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government refuses to provide adequate humanitarian assistance in Gaza,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), a former Navy helicopter pilot.

Netanyahu, in a video statement, expressed regret for the incident but defended Israel’s ongoing operations in Gaza, stating that such incidents are inevitable in war and promising a thorough inquiry.

However, Andrés disputed Netanyahu’s account, stating that Israeli forces targeted his group systematically, vehicle by vehicle. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), one of Netanyahu’s staunchest Democratic critics, characterized the attack on the aid workers as intentional and accused Netanyahu of using starvation as a weapon of war.

Democratic criticism of Israel’s offensive and Netanyahu’s leadership is expected to intensify as the House reconvenes next week and considers a national security supplemental that may include aid for Israel. Some progressives have called for conditions on military aid to Israel, while others have advocated for cutting off aid altogether.

Despite the growing criticism, the White House has reaffirmed its support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas. However, if Israel proceeds with plans to invade Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where many Palestinians have sought refuge, Democratic criticism is likely to escalate further.

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