Chef José Andrés says IDF strike on World Central Kitchen convoy was deliberate – NBC Los Angeles

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World Central Kitchen demanded an independent investigation into the Israeli strikes that killed seven of its staff in Gaza, as Israel faced growing isolation Wednesday over the deaths of six foreign aid workers and a Palestinian driver helping deliver desperately needed food to isolated and starving residents.

In a statement issued Thursday, the international food charity says it has asked Australia, Canada, Poland, the United States and the United Kingdom, whose citizens were killed, to join them in demanding “an independent, third-party investigation into these attacks.”

“We asked the Israeli government to immediately preserve all documents, communications, video and/or audio recordings, and any other materials potentially relevant to the April 1 strikes,” the statement said.

Israel says it carried out the strikes by mistake and that it has launched its own investigation into the attack.

The military carried out multiple strikes on a convoy of three cars, at least one of which was clearly marked with the charity’s logo. World Central Kitchen says it coordinated the team’s movements with the army, which was “aware of their itinerary, route and humanitarian mission.”

WCK founder and celebrity chef Jose Andrés accused Israel of deliberately attacking the aid convoy.

“They were targeted systematically, car by car,” he said in a video interview with Reuters Wednesday.

Andrés, who at times appeared emotional discussing the loss of his friends, said after the first car was stuck, the aid team tried to escape to the second car. When that car was struck, the workers fled to the third which was also then hit with a strike.

“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 that we are obviously very proud of,” he said. “It’s very clear who we are and what we do.”

The workers were delivering aid that had arrived by sea in a recently opened maritime corridor aimed at getting food to hundreds of thousands of starving Palestinians in northern Gaza, which has been largely isolated by Israeli forces for months.

The attack interrupted those efforts, as World Central Kitchen and other charities suspended operations over the deteriorating security situation. The ships returned to Cyprus with an estimated 240 tons of undelivered humanitarian aid.

Wednesday night, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told his Israeli counterpart that the strikes strengthened U.S. concerns about Israel’s plans to expand its ground offensive and said that Israel must do more to protect the lives of civilians and aid workers in Gaza.

Israel’s war in Gaza has killed nearly 33,000 Palestinians, the territory’s Health Ministry says. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tally, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead. The United Nations says much of the population in northern Gaza is on the brink of starvation.

The war began on Oct. 7, when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 people hostage.

World Central Kitchen says seven of its aid workers, including an American citizen, were killed Tuesday when their convoy was hit by an Israeli airstrike.

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