News

Published April 2, 2024

(UPDATE) Canada condemns Israeli strike on aid workers in Gaza, demands investigation

Seven workers from World Central Kitchen were killed
Canadian among aid workers killed by Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly condemned an airstrike launched by the Israeli military that killed seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip, including a dual Canadian-American citizen.

The World Central Kitchen said its workers were delivering food that had arrived by sea on Monday when they were struck in the evening. 

It said in addition to the dual Canadian citizen, the strike killed three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national and a Palestinian.

The charity suspended operations in the region following the attack. World Central Kitchen was founded by celebrity chef José Andrés and operates in several countries wracked by wars or natural disasters.

In a statement this morning posted on X, formerly Twitter, Joly said she was "horrified" to hear about the air strike, adding attacks on humanitarian workers are unacceptable.

"We condemn these strikes and call for a full investigation," she said. "Canada expects full accountability for these killings and we will convey this to the Israeli government directly."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that the Israel Defence Forces carried out the "unintended strike," which killed "innocent people."

He said officials are investigating and "will do everything for this not to happen again."

The charity was key to a recently opened sea route that offered some hope for northern Gaza. 

The United Nations says much of the area's population is on the brink of starvation, largely cut off from the rest of the territory by Israeli forces.

Andrés said he is "heartbroken" by the deaths of his colleagues.

"The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon," he wrote on X.

Cyprus, which has played a key role in trying to establish the sea route to bring food to the territory, said ships that recently arrived were turning back with some 240 tons of undelivered aid.

Footage of the airstrike showed the workers' bodies, several wearing protective gear with the charity’s logo, at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

Banner image: Palestinians carry the body of a World Central Kitchen worker at Al Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, April 2, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Abdel Kareem

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2024.

— With files from The Associated Press.

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