Chief of Staff comments on WCK incidentIDF Spokesperson's Unit

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi was presented on Tuesday night with the preliminary debrief into the Israeli strike in Gaza in which seven workers from the World Kitchen Center (WKC) aid organization were killed.

In a statement, Halevi clarified that the strike was a case of misidentification and the strikes were not meant to harm WCK workers.

“WCK is an organization whose people work across the globe, including in Israel, to do good in difficult conditions,” said the Chief of Staff.

“The IDF works closely together with the World Central Kitchen and greatly appreciates the important work that they do.”

Halevi noted that the IDF completed a preliminary debrief and added, “I want to be very clear—the strike was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers. It was a mistake that followed a misidentification–at night during a war in very complex conditions. It shouldn’t have happened.”

He continued, “We will continue taking immediate actions to ensure that more is done to protect humanitarian aid workers.”

“This incident was a grave mistake,” Halevi stressed. “Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the people of Gaza. We are sorry for the unintentional harm to the members of WCK. We share in the grief of their families, as well as the entire World Central Kitchen organization, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the strike earlier on Tuesday, saying, "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," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the British Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) summoned the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom over the accidental deaths of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) employees in Monday’s strike.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington has urged Israel to conduct a swift, thorough and impartial investigation into Monday night’s air strike.

"We've spoken directly to the Israeli government about this particular incident. We've urged a swift, a thorough and impartial investigation," Blinken told reporters at a press conference in Paris, according to Reuters, adding that humanitarian workers have to be protected.

"These people are heroes, they run into the fire, not away from it," he said of the NGO workers killed in the strike. "We shouldn't have a situation where people who are simply trying to help their fellow human beings are themselves at grave risk."