April 21, 2024

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One day after President Joe Biden said he was “outraged and heartbroken” over an Israel Defense Force attack that killed seven World Central Kitchen team members distributing food in Gaza, WCK founder José Andrés gave an emotional interview to Reuters in which he said, “What I know is that we were targeted deliberately, nonstop until everybody was dead in this convoy.”

Israel has expressed “extreme sorrow” over the deaths, and the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack on aid workers was not intentional.

Asked if he believed that official explanation, the celebrity chef responded, “Initially, I would say categorically no,” reiterating that WCK communicated its movements to the IDF, it was in a zone controlled by the IDF and the convoy was clearly marked with his organization’s logo posted even on the roofs of some vehicles.

“This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” Andres told Reuters.

“This was over a 1.5, 1.8 kilometers, with a very defined humanitarian convoy that had signs in the top, in the roof, a very colorful logo” he said. It was “very clear who we are and what we do.”

Andrés said he wants an independent investigation by the U.S. government and by the governments of every aid worker who was killed. The workers were American, Australian, Canadian, British and Palistinian.

Biden is set to speak with Netanyahu on Thursday. Yesterday the U.S. president said that Israel’s investigation “must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public.” 

Watch a portion of Andrés’ interview below.

Earlier today, the New York Times published an Opinion piece written by Andrés in which reads in part, “We welcome the government’s promise of an investigation into how and why members of our World Central Kitchen family were killed. That investigation needs to start at the top, not just the bottom.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said of the Israeli killings of our team, ‘It happens in war.’ It was a direct attack on clearly marked vehicles whose movements were known by the Israel Defense Forces.

“It is not a sign of weakness to feed strangers; it is a sign of strength. The people of Israel need to remember, at this darkest hour, what strength truly looks like.”



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