Israeli army acknowledges “major mistake” after death of NGO workers

Israeli army acknowledges “major mistake” after death of NGO workers
Israeli army acknowledges “major mistake” after death of NGO workers
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“I want to be very clear: the attack was not carried out with the intent to harm WCK responders. It was a mistake of misidentification, at night, during a war, in very complex circumstances,” General Herzi Halevi said in a video message. “It shouldn’t have happened.”

“We are sorry for the unintentional harm to WCK members. We share with all our hearts the grief of the families and of all of World Central Kitchen,” said Halevi. “An independent body will investigate the event in detail and report its findings in the coming days.” The armed forces “will learn from it”.

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WCK was one of the few NGOs still working in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. The employees distributed food and helped with the first delivery of relief supplies by boat from Cyprus. The Israeli army says it works closely with WCK and “greatly appreciates the important work they do.” After the attack, the organization announced it was ceasing its operations in the region.

“Anger” and “Indignation”

According to WCK, the victims are three Britons, a man of American-Canadian nationality, a Pole, an Australian and a Palestinian. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he has communicated the “anger” of the Australian people to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog had also apologized on Tuesday evening. Netanyahu spoke of an “accidental” attack and a “tragic” incident.

There is great outrage within the international community about the incident. The United Nations called it a “disregard for international humanitarian law,” while the US, an ally of Israel, quickly called for an independent investigation and said it was “outraged.”

US President Joe Biden also accused Israel of not adequately protecting humanitarian workers. “This conflict is one of the worst ever in terms of the number of humanitarian workers killed. Such deaths simply should not happen,” he said in a press release.

“Not at war with people of Gaza”

The Israeli Defense Forces said on Tuesday it had established a new humanitarian command center to “improve the way we coordinate aid distribution in Gaza.” “We will continue to take immediate actions to ensure more is done to protect humanitarian workers,” said General Herzi Halevi. “This incident was a serious mistake. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the people of Gaza.”

“We see great importance in the continued delivery of humanitarian assistance and we will continue to work to facilitate this vital effort,” it said.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Israeli army acknowledges major mistake death NGO workers

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