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World Central Kitchen calls for independent investigation into killing of aid workers in Gaza


(LONDON) — The foreign-aid organization World Central Kitchen called on Thursday for an independent and international investigation into the killing of seven of its workers in an Israel airstrike in Gaza.

“An independent investigation is the only way to determine the truth of what happened, ensure transparency and accountability for those responsible, and prevent future attacks on humanitarian aid workers,” the organization said in a statement.

The seven aid workers were killed Monday night when their three-vehicle convoy, including two armored cars, was struck after leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse in central Gaza, where the aid workers had helped unload more than 100 tons of humanitarian aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route, according to the statement from WCK, a humanitarian organization dedicated to delivering food aid.

The organization, which was founded by chef Jose Andres, described the airstrike that killed the workers as a “military attack that involved multiple strikes and targeted three WCK vehicles.”

“All three vehicles were carrying civilians; they were marked as WCK vehicles; and their movements were in full compliance with Israeli authorities, who were aware of their itinerary, route, and humanitarian mission,” the non-governmental organization said Thursday.

WCK said it had asked the U.S., Australian, Canadian and Polish governments to “join us in demanding an independent, third-party investigation into these attacks, including whether they were carried out intentionally or otherwise violated international law.”

A senior adviser for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said claims that the Israeli strike was intentional were “absurd.”

“The last thing we would want in the world is to endanger civilian lives,” Ophir Falk, the adviser, told ABC News on Wednesday.

WCK said Thursday that it had asked Israel to preserve all material — including documents and communications — that may be relevant to the strike.

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