World Central Kitchen Resumes Gaza Aid After Deadly Israeli Airstrike

World Central Kitchen resumes Gaza aid after deadly airstrike, offering a lifeline to 2.3M residents as international mediators scramble to broker a ceasefire and prevent an Israeli ground invasion.

Nitish Verma
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World Central Kitchen Resumes Gaza Aid After Deadly Israeli Airstrike

World Central Kitchen Resumes Gaza Aid After Deadly Israeli Airstrike

World Central Kitchen (WCK), a US-based charity, announced on Monday that it will restart its humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip, one month after an Israeli airstrike killed seven of its aid workers. The organization had suspended its work in Gaza following the deadly attack on April 1, which triggered widespread condemnation and demands from Israel's allies, including the United States, for an explanation.

Prior to the temporary halt, WCK had been a major provider of food aid in the war-torn enclave, distributing over 42 million meals since October 2023. This represented an impressive 62% of all international NGO assistance in Gaza during that period. The charity said it has 276 trucks loaded with nearly 8 million meals ready to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, and will also dispatch aid trucks from Jordan.

Israel has admitted to "serious errors and breaches of procedure" by its military in the airstrike that killed the WCK workers. Two senior officers have been dismissed and top commanders reprimanded over the incident. However, WCK is still demanding an independent investigation into the attack.

Why this matters: The resumption of aid by WCK comes as a critical lifeline for Gaza's 2.3 million residents, who are facing dire humanitarian conditions after seven months of war between Israel and Hamas. The conflict has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and wounded more than 77,000.

Meanwhile, international mediators are scrambling to broker a ceasefire deal and prevent a looming Israeli ground invasion of Rafah, Gaza's southernmost city. US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, reiterating his opposition to the Rafah offensive and pushing for progress on aid delivery. A Hamas delegation is expected in Cairo on Monday for truce talks.

"We are restarting our operation with the same energy, dignity and focus on feeding as many people as possible," said WCK founder José Andrés. "The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains dire, and we are determined to continue our mission of providing food to people during the toughest of times." The charity's return offers a glimmer of hope for Gaza's beleaguered population as they brace for a potential escalation in fighting.

Key Takeaways

  • World Central Kitchen to resume Gaza aid after 7 staff killed in Israeli airstrike.
  • WCK had provided 62% of all international NGO assistance in Gaza since Oct 2023.
  • Israel admits "serious errors" in airstrike, dismisses 2 officers, reprimands commanders.
  • WCK's return offers critical aid as Gaza faces dire humanitarian crisis after 7 months of war.
  • US, Hamas in talks to broker ceasefire and prevent Israeli ground invasion of Rafah.