Israel admits mistake – military chief: dead aid workers were “not intentional”


After an attack in the Gaza Strip that killed seven employees of the aid organization World Central Kitchen, Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi has admitted mistakes. “The attack was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK volunteers,” he said. However, US President Joe Biden expressed sharp criticism. “This is not an isolated case,” he warned.

“It was an error that followed a misidentification – at night in a war under very complex circumstances. “That should not have happened,” Halevi said in a video statement Wednesday evening. “This incident was a serious mistake,” he said. This has been shown by a preliminary investigation. He did not provide further details.

Israel promises to learn from incidents
An independent panel will thoroughly investigate the incident and “reach a conclusion in the coming days,” the Israeli chief of staff continued. The military will learn from the conclusions “and implement them immediately,” Halevi said. The army shares “from the bottom of our hearts” the grief of the relatives and the aid organization.

Israeli Prime Minister speaks of “accidental hit”
World Central Kitchen had confirmed the deaths of seven workers in the Gaza Strip the day before. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a video message about a “tragic case of an accidental hit by our forces against innocent people in the Gaza Strip.” The incident is under investigation and every effort will be made to ensure something like this does not happen again.

According to media reports, the death of foreign aid workers in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli airstrike calls into question the continued supply of Palestinians into the war zone. “Everyone feels threatened now,” the New York Times quoted Michael Capponi, founder of the aid organization Global Empowerment Mission, as saying on Tuesday (local time). The international community of non-governmental organizations “must be guaranteed that we are safe in our work, which is so important,” Capponi demanded.

“Nightmare becomes reality” for helpers
Israel risks ending up without a partner that can provide and deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel quoted a US government official as saying. Tess Ingram, a spokeswoman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), told the New York Times newspaper that she hopes the deaths of WCK workers in Gaza “will make the world realize that what is happening here is not OK.” “The news of the attack is horrific – a nightmare come true for us,” Save the Children spokeswoman Soraya Ali told the US newspaper.

The US government also reacted with outrage to the deaths of the World Central Kitchen helpers and demanded urgent explanations from Israel. “More than 200 aid workers have been killed in this conflict, making it one of the worst conflicts for aid workers in recent history,” John Kirby, communications director for the National Security Council, said Tuesday.

Biden: “This is not an isolated case”
US President Biden then made serious accusations against his ally Israel. “This is not an isolated case,” Biden complained in a written statement on Tuesday evening (local time). “This conflict is one of the worst in recent history in terms of the number of aid workers killed.” The Democrat literally criticized: ‘Israel has not done enough to protect the aid workers who are trying to provide the civilian population with urgently needed aid. This is one of the main reasons why the distribution of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip is so difficult. “Israel has also not done enough to protect the civilian population,” Biden continued to complain. The United States has repeatedly called on Israel to decouple military operations against the militant Palestinian organization Hamas from humanitarian operations to prevent civilian casualties.

Young woman from Australia among the victims
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese personally expressed “Australia’s anger and concern” over the deaths of the seven aid workers in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Albanese said this at a press conference. An Australian young woman was among the civilian aid workers killed. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong had previously condemned the airstrike as “outrageous and unacceptable” in a conversation with her Israeli counterpart Israel Katz. Israel will continue to lose support if it does not change course. Israel must explain how and why the aid agency’s vehicles were attacked. According to media reports, the Israeli military was informed of the movement of the clearly marked aid agency vehicles.

Aid organizations voluntarily provide coordinates
In complex conflict zones such as the Gaza Strip, the United Nations and other aid agencies voluntarily shared the coordinates of their offices, warehouses and other facilities with warring parties to avoid being accidentally hit, the Wall Street Journal reports. Operations in the northern Gaza Strip, considered particularly risky, would have to be approved by Israel’s military authority COGAT, which is responsible for coordinating aid. Most applications would be rejected. Nevertheless, aid convoys in Gaza have been attacked several times, it was said. It is not clear why the so-called ‘deconfliction mechanism’ has repeatedly failed to guarantee the safety of the helpers, the American newspaper continued.

Source: Krone


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