World Central Kitchen ship with aid for Gaza
World Central Kitchen ship with aid for GazaIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Palestinian Arab sources in Gaza claimed on Monday night that at least five employees from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) were killed by an Israeli air strike in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.

Those killed included people from Poland, Australia and a British national, a spokesman for Hamas’ media office said, according to Reuters, adding that one Palestinian Arab was also killed.

There was no immediate comment from WCK on the claims. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement it was conducting a thorough review.

“Following the reports regarding the World Central Kitchen personnel in Gaza today, the IDF is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident,” the statement said.

“The IDF makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with WCK in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza,” it added.

The WCK is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization whose objective is to provide meals for people affected by natural disasters.

The organization commented on the incident in a statement on social media on Monday night, writing, “We are aware of reports that members of the World Central Kitchen team have been killed in an IDF attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza. This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER.”

The United States urged a swift Israeli investigation of the incident.

“We are heartbroken and deeply troubled by the strike that that killed World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza. Humanitarian aid workers must be protected as they deliver aid that is desperately needed, and we urge Israel to swiftly investigate what happened,” said National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson.

Two weeks ago, the IDF accompanied the arrival of a ship transporting humanitarian aid from WCK, led by the United Arab Emirates, in the maritime space of the Gaza Strip.

The Gazan “ministry of health”, which is controlled by Hamas, claimed several weeks ago that the IDF that opened fire on Gazans who were waiting the arrival of a humanitarian aid convoy, killing at least 21 people, but the IDF said those allegations were false.

A preliminary IDF investigation into the incident found that Gazan terrorists were, in fact, the ones who opened fire on the civilians waiting for the aid.