Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
alert-–-white-house-condemns-‘outrageous’-israeli-airstrike-that-killed-seven-aid-workers-in-gaza-…-but-insists-it-wasn’t-‘deliberate’:-john-kirby-says-us-will-continue-sending-weapons-as-netanyahu-says-‘this-happens-in-war’Alert – White House condemns ‘outrageous’ Israeli airstrike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza … but insists it wasn’t ‘deliberate’: John Kirby says US will continue sending weapons as Netanyahu says ‘this happens in war’

The White House on Tuesday condemned as ‘outrageous’ a deadly Israeli airstrike that killed seven aid workers, including an American, in Gaza.

Yet in a sign of how Washington has set itself as Israel’s most loyal defender, John Kirby, White House national security spokesman, said American officials would wait for the results of an investigation before drawing wider conclusions.

And he insisted there was no question of halting weapons sales to Israel. 

‘We were outraged to learn of an [Israel Defense Forces]strike that killed a number of civilian humanitarian workers yesterday from the World Central Kitchen, which has been relentless and working to get food to those who are hungry in Gaza, and quite frankly, around the world,’ he said.

‘We send our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones.’

'We were outraged to learn of an IDF strike that killed a number of civilian humanitarian workers yesterday from the World Central Kitchen,' said White House spokesman John Kirby

‘We were outraged to learn of an IDF strike that killed a number of civilian humanitarian workers yesterday from the World Central Kitchen,’ said White House spokesman John Kirby

Other world leaders immediately condemned the strike. London called in the Israeli ambassador for an explanation after three Britons were identified among the dead.

In contrast, after expressing outrage, Kirby had to be asked whether or not the U.S. would condemn the attack on vehicles clearly marked with clear aid logos.

‘I think by our saying we’re outraged, I think you can fairly characterise that as condemning the strike itself,’ he said. 

Deliberately killing aid workers is a breach of international humanitarian law.

Opponents of President Joe Biden’s close support for Israel said it was more evidence to support their demand that he immediately halt more military aid going to the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But Kirby said that the U.S. was not about to set conditions on military assistance. 

‘I know you want you  want us to hang some sort of condition over their neck. And what I’m telling you is that we continue to to work with the Israelis to make sure that they are as precise as they can be.

‘And that more aid is getting in and we’re gonna continue to take that approach.’

Seven aid workers including an American national man were killed in an apparent Israeli air strike in Gaza , the World Central Kitchen charity has confirmed. Pictured: A destroyed car displaying the charity's logo is seen from above on Tuesday

Seven aid workers including an American national man were killed in an apparent Israeli air strike in Gaza , the World Central Kitchen charity has confirmed. Pictured: A destroyed car displaying the charity’s logo is seen from above on Tuesday

Palestinians inspect a vehicle with the logo of the World Central Kitchen that was wrecked by an Israeli airstrike in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday

Palestinians inspect a vehicle with the logo of the World Central Kitchen that was wrecked by an Israeli airstrike in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday

World Central Kitchen was founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres. He is pictured here with President Joe Biden who saw their work in Warsaw, Poland, helping Ukrainian refugees

World Central Kitchen was founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres. He is pictured here with President Joe Biden who saw their work in Warsaw, Poland, helping Ukrainian refugees

James Henderson, 33, was travelling in a clearly marked car operated by World Central Kitchen, a charity providing meals to Palestinians in the war torn enclave, when the convoy was hit with three missiles fired by an IDF drone

John Chapman traveling in a clearly marked car operated by World Central Kitchen (WCK), a charity providing meals to Palestinians in the war-torn enclave, when the convoy was hit with three missiles fired by an IDF drone

The Britons were named as James Henderson, 33, (left), a former special forces operator and a member of the Royal Marines, and John Chapman, an ex-Royal Marine and father-of-two 

He also brushed away any suggestion that the strike was deliberate.

‘There’s no evidence of that,’ he said. 

Palestinian health officials say 32,000 people have been killed since Israel began its bombardment on Oct 7, following a terrorist attack by Hamas gunmen that killed 1200 people.

But the killing of WCK will particularly resonate in Washington, DC, where the charity is based. It was founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, who has taken part in events with President Joe Biden.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden had called Andres to say he was ‘heartbroken.’ 

The group has become increasingly well known for its work in disasters and war zones.

The charity said its workers were travelling in two armored cars marked with its logo and a third vehicle. 

Lalzawmi 'Zomi' Frankcom (pictured), 44, from Melbourne, was killed along with three other international aid workers and a Palestinian driver, in Central Gaza, while working with the World Central Kitchen charity on Monday

Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom (pictured), 44, from Melbourne, was killed along with three other international aid workers and a Palestinian driver, in Central Gaza, while working with the World Central Kitchen charity on Monday

Polish World Central Kitchen and aid worker Damian Sobol, who was killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Polish World Central Kitchen and aid worker Damian Sobol, who was killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza

A UN worker holds James Henderson's passport at the scene of the strike

A UN worker holds James Henderson’s passport at the scene of the strike

This picture taken from Israel's southern border with the Gaza Strip shows humanitarian aid being airdropped over the besieged Palestinian territory on April 2

This picture taken from Israel’s southern border with the Gaza Strip shows humanitarian aid being airdropped over the besieged Palestinian territory on April 2

The convoy was hit as it left the Deir al-Balah warehouse where it had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food aid.

The strike killed citizens of , Britain and Poland as well as Palestinians and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. 

Analysts with Bellingcat said the vehicles were hit on or beside a road designated by the United Nations as being an ‘Accessible Road for Humanitarian Aid.’

The IDF said it has launched a probe into the incident at the ‘highest levels’ and reiterated that it has been ‘working closely’ with the charity, but also ‘makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid’. 

Netanyahu said: ‘Unfortunately in the past day there was a tragic event in which our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants in the Gaza Strip.

‘This happens in war. We are conducting a thorough inquiry and are in contact with the governments. We will do everything to prevent a recurrence.’