World Central Kitchen Will Resume Operations in Gaza

World Central Kitchen Will Resume Operations in Gaza

The World Central Kitchen said on Sunday that it would resume operations in Gaza with a local team of Palestinian aid workers, nearly a month after the Israeli military killed seven of the organization’s workers in targeted drone strikes on their convoy.

Israeli military officials have said the attack was a “grave mistake” and cited a series of failures, including a breakdown in communication and violations of the military’s operating procedures.

The Washington-based aid group said that it was still calling for an independent, international investigation into the April 1 attack and that it had received “no concrete assurances” that the Israeli military’s operational procedures had changed. But the “humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire,” the aid group’s chief operating officer, Erin Gore, said in a statement.

“We are restarting our operation with the same energy, dignity, and focus on feeding as many people as possible,” she said.

The aid group said it had distributed more than 43 million meals in Gaza so far and that it had trucks carrying the equivalent of nearly eight million meals waiting to enter the enclave through the Rafah crossing in the south. World Central Kitchen said it was also planning to send trucks to Gaza through Jordan and that it would open a kitchen in Al-Mawasi, a small seaside village that the Israeli military designated as a “humanitarian zone” safe for civilians, though attacks there have continued.

Six of the seven workers killed on April 1 were from Western nations — three from Britain, one from Australia, one from Poland and one with dual citizenship of the United States and Canada. The seventh was Palestinian. They were killed in back-to-back Israeli drone strikes on their vehicles as they traveled toward Rafah after unloading food aid that had arrived by sea.

The attack prompted the World Central Kitchen to immediately suspend its operations in Gaza and elicited outrage from some of Israel’s closest allies.

The World Central Kitchen convoy’s movements had been coordinated in advance with the Israeli military, but some officers had not reviewed the coordination documentation detailing which cars were part of the convoy, the military said.

Some 200 aid workers, most of them Palestinians, were killed in Gaza between Oct. 7 and the attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy, according to the United Nations. A New York Times visual investigation showed that, well before the World Central Kitchen attack, six aid groups in Gaza had come under Israeli fire despite sharing their locations with the Israeli military.

The episode forced World Central Kitchen to decide between ending its efforts in Gaza or continuing, “knowing that aid, aid workers and civilians are being intimidated and killed,” Ms. Gore said in the statement.

“Ultimately, we decided that we must keep feeding, continuing our mission of showing up to provide food to people during the toughest of times,” she said.

At a memorial in Washington for the World Central Kitchen workers on Thursday, the group’s founder, the celebrity chef José Andrés, said that there were “many unanswered questions about what happened and why,” and that the aid group was still demanding an independent investigation into the Israeli military’s actions.

The seven aid workers had “risked everything to feed people they did not know and will never meet,” Mr. Andrés said. “They were the best of humanity.”

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