US President Joe Biden
US President Joe BidenREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday had harsh words for Israel following the strike in Gaza in which seven workers for the World Central Kitchen organization were killed.

In a statement, Biden accused Israel of not having done enough to protect aid workers in the Gaza Strip.

“I am outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen, including one American, in Gaza yesterday. They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war. They were brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy,” the President said.

“Israel has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into why the aid workers’ vehicles were hit by airstrikes. That investigation must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public,” he added.

Biden then went on to say that “this is not a stand-alone incident. This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed. This is a major reason why distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza has been so difficult – because Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians.”

“Incidents like yesterday’s simply should not happen. Israel has also not done enough to protect civilians. The United States has repeatedly urged Israel to deconflict their military operations against Hamas with humanitarian operations, in order to avoid civilian casualties,” said the President.

“The United States will continue to do all we can to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, through all available means. I will continue to press Israel to do more to facilitate that aid. And we are pushing hard for an immediate ceasefire as part of a hostage deal. I have a team in Cairo working on this right now,” Biden continued.

“Earlier today, I spoke with my friend Chef José Andrés, the founder of World Central Kitchen, to convey my deepest condolences for the deaths of these courageous aid workers and to express my continued support for his and his team’s relentless and heroic efforts to get food to hungry people around the globe.”

“May God bless the humanitarian workers killed yesterday and comfort their families and loved ones in their grief,” concluded Biden.

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.

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

Later in the day,IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi was presented with the preliminary debrief into the incident and stated that the strike was a case of misidentification and the strikes were not meant to harm WCK workers.

“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.”