White House ‘outraged’ at Israeli strike that killed World Central Kitchen workers

White House ‘outraged’ at Israeli strike that killed World Central Kitchen workers

The White House on Tuesday called an Israeli strike that killed humanitarian workers in Gaza an “emblematic of a larger problem,” though officials signaled there would be no change in U.S. support for Israel in its war against Hamas as a result.

John Kirby, a top spokesperson on national security issues, said at a press briefing the administration was “outraged” to learn of the Israeli military strike that killed workers with the World Central Kitchen, which was distributing food to civilians in Gaza.

“We expect a broader investigation to be conducted and to be done so in a swift and comprehensive manner. We hope those findings will be made public and that there is appropriate accountability,” Kirby said.

“More than 200 aid workers have been killed in this conflict, making it one of the worst for aid workers in recent history,” he continued. “This incident is emblematic of a larger problem and evidence of why distribution of aid in Gaza has been so challenging. But beyond the strike, what is clear is that the IDF must do much more to improve deconfliction processes so civilians and humanitarian aid workers are protected.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took responsibility Tuesday for a deadly strike that killed seven aid workers for the charity group World Central Kitchen, an organization led by chef José Andrés, the day prior.

“This happens in war,” he said in a statement. “We are conducting a thorough inquiry and are in contact with the governments. We will do everything to prevent a recurrence.”

The deaths of the foreign aid workers are likely to increase anger and frustration with Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, where more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of thousands face famine.

Kirby said the U.S. would continue to press Israel to do more and ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and would continue to do its part to deliver assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

But he said the U.S. would continue to support the Israel military as it has since Hamas set off the war with its attacks last October that killed more than 1,100 Israelis.

“They’re still under a viable threat of Hamas,” Kirby said. We’re still going to make sure they can defend themselves and the 7th of October doesn’t happen again. That doesn’t mean that it’s a free pass that we look the other way when something like this happens.”

“You want us to hang some sort of condition over their neck. And what I’m telling you is that we continue to work with the Israelis to make sure that they are precise as they can be, and that more aid is getting in, and we’re going to continue to take that approach,” he added.

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