‘We aren’t Stupid’ – US Officials Doubtful about Israel’s Investigation into Aid Workers Killing

Some US administration officials are doubtful about Israel’s investigation into the airstrike that killed seven aid workers of World Central Kitchen. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Three hits on three cars in a row is not an accident. We aren’t stupid.”

Some US administration officials are doubtful about Israel’s investigation into the airstrike that killed seven aid workers of World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza on Monday, with one official noting that the strike seemed intentional, according to the Politico news website.

The attack on the NGO’s branded convoy in “a deconflicted zone” took place “despite coordinating movements with the IDF,” WCK said in a statement.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to Politico, officials expressed concern about the attack that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “unintentional.”

‘This is Unforgivable’ – Seven Aid Workers Killed in Israeli Air Strike 

One administration official who has worked with chef Jose Andrés – the founder of WCK – on “international food and health security initiatives” called the strike “devasting”, the Politico report said.

The official said the strike “underscores Israeli carelessness toward Gaza civilians and international humanitarians alike.”

The aid workers killed were from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine, WCK said in a statement, calling the attack “unforgivable.”


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‘Status Quo’

Officials said they were “frustrated with how Israel has conducted investigations in the past and are doubtful there will be accountability,” reported Politico.

The official who worked with Andrés cited the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed while reporting in the occupied West Bank in 2022. A UN-mandated investigative body had found that Israeli forces used “lethal force without justification” when she was shot and killed, and Israel had reportedly said it was likely that a soldier killed her.

The official told Politico that Israel will “do and say whatever is necessary to maintain the status quo and I have little hope their investigation will be transparent or honest.”

Another US official noted that the strike on the aid workers “seemed intentional,” reported Politico.

“Three hits on three cars in a row is not an accident. We aren’t stupid,” the official said.

‘Weight in Washington’

The Politico report describes Andrés as a well-known Spanish-American chef with several restaurants in Washington.

It quotes Dave Harden, a former humanitarian assistance coordinator at the US Agency for International Development, who said that the fact that the workers came from Andrés’ charity “also carries particular weight in Washington, where the chef holds a number of restaurants frequented by foreign policymakers, including Zaytinya, Jaleo and Minibar.”

In a thread on X, Harden wrote that “José Andrés is also a local DC institution and hero.”

“This tragedy in Gaza could very well have an outsized impact on the policy environment, including amplifying calls for a cease-fire,” he said.

Politico said Andrés himself spoke with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, who reportedly recognized the “tremendous contribution” of the organization.

Work in Israel

Israeli Military spokesman Daniel Hagari also said on Tuesday: “I just spoke to WCK founder Chef Jose Anders,” and expressed condolences.

“For the last few months, the IDF has been working closely with the World Central Kitchen to assist them in fulfilling their noble mission of helping bring food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. WCK also came to help Israelis after the massacre of October 7th; they were one of the first NGOs here,” Hagari added. “We will get to the bottom of this and we will share our findings transparently.”

The Times of Israel reported that: “As Israel has sought to minimize the role of UNRWA, the UN Palestinian aid agency that it has long accused of having ties to Hamas, it sought out the boosted assistance of WCK, which had already been working on the ground in Gaza for months.”

It said the Israeli military “had promised to coordinate efforts with the agency and provide security to aid workers to ensure they weren’t attacked.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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