World Central Kitchen resumes Gaza work month after 7 staff killed

AFP , Monday 29 Apr 2024

The World Central Kitchen nonprofit, which supplied meals in Gaza until seven of its aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike nearly a month ago, is to resume operations, its CEO said.

A volunteer prepares a soup, as usually provided by the US-based food charity World Central Kitchen, at the funeral of Damian Sobol, a member of that charity, killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza, at his home town of Przemysl, Poland. AFP


The US-based charity founded by celebrity Spanish-American chef Jose Andres provides food to communities facing humanitarian crises and disasters.

On the night of April 1, seven of its workers were killed in three air strikes over four minutes by an Israeli drone as they ran for their lives between their three vehicles, the Israeli military has said.

The deaths -- of an Australian, three Britons, a North American, a Palestinian and a Pole -- triggered renewed levels of global outrage over Israel's military operations.

"We continue to grieve and mourn the loss of seven of our friends and colleagues who were killed in an IDF attack in Gaza," the nonprofit's CEO Erin Gore said in a statement Sunday.

She added that the World Central Kitchen was nonetheless "resuming operations in Gaza."

Gore noted the organization had 276 trucks, with the equivalent of almost eight million meals, ready to enter through the Rafah Crossing.

"We will continue to get as much food into Gaza, including northern Gaza, as possible -- by land, air, or sea," she said.

WCK would also send trucks from Jordan, Gore said, adding that the organization was exploring a maritime corridor and utilizing Israel's Ashdod Port.

Gore said WCK had to make a difficult choice to "stop feeding altogether during one of the worst hunger crises ever... or keep feeding knowing that aid, aid workers, and civilians are being intimidated and killed."

WCK has 68 community kitchens in the region and is building a third high-production facility in Mawasi in addition to the other two in Rafah and Deir al-Balah.

Israel's offensive has killed at least 34,488 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

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