World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres says aid workers were ‘systematically’ targeted

World Central Kitchen founder and renowned chef Jose Andres accused Israel of targeting the seven aid workers who were killed by an IDF airstrike in Gaza, “systematically, car by car.”

Mr Andres told Reuters that World Central Kitchen (WCK), a charity that provides food to people in disaster zones including Gaza, was transparent about its movements in the besieged strip.

The seven staff were killed in Gaza in a marked convoy after unloading 100 tonnes of food aid from a barge.

“This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” Mr Andres said. “Even if we were not in coordination with the (Israel Defense Forces), no democratic country and no military can be targeting civilians and humanitarians.”

He also told the outlet that there may have been more than three strikes against the charity’s convoy.

WCK said on Tuesday it was pausing all work in the occupied Palestinian territory. Mr Andres told Reuters that the charity would look into the safety of returning to Gaza before starting up its work there again.

“The U.S. must do more to tell Prime Minister Netanyahu this war needs to end now,” the charity founder said. He and President Joe Biden spoke on the phone after the tragedy.

President Biden plans to speak with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, an administration official told The Independent.

Mr Biden released a statement on Tuesday, saying he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the aid workers’ deaths. “They were brave and selfless.”

While the US has said it doesn’t have plans to conduct its own investigation into the incident, Israel has pledged to conduct one. Mr Biden called for the probe to be “swift” and said it “must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public.”

Mr Andres’ blame on the IDF’s knowledge comes into sharp contrast to comments made by Mr Netanyahu.

Mr Netanyahu called the incident an “unintended strike of our forces on innocent people in the Gaza Strip,” and promised the country’s armed forces “will do everything for this not to happen again”.

Early on Wednesday, Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib echoed Mr Andres’ tone in an Instagram post. She called the attack “fully intentional.”

“They bombed the convoy three times,” she wrote. “WCK gave Israel their coordinates, and they still were targeted and killed. Netanyahu wants Gaza to starve to death and using starvation as a weapon of war.”

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin also weighed in on Wednesday. “Enough,” he tweeted.

“The killing of the World Central Kitchen humanitarian workers makes it clear that Netanyahu cannot or will not protect the innocent people in Gaza. We need a ceasefire and release of all remaining hostages now,” Sen Durbin wrote.