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HomeWorldFounder of World Central Kitchen Says Several Workers Killed in Gaza Airstrike

Founder of World Central Kitchen Says Several Workers Killed in Gaza Airstrike

International aid workers from World Central Kitchen, a disaster relief nonprofit that has become a source of food for desperate Gazans, were killed in an airstrike in Gaza, according to José Andrés, the chef who founded the organization.

Mr. Andrés said on the X that “several of our sisters and brothers” were killed in the airstrike, which was reported late Monday in Deir al-Balah, a city in central Gaza. He said the Israeli military had carried out the strike, though that could not be immediately confirmed.

The Israeli military said in a statement early Tuesday that it was “conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

Graphic video footage from the aftermath showed five bodies. Some wore protective gear with visible World Central Kitchen patches. Three had passports from Australia, Britain and Poland on their chests.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia identified one of the victims as Zomi Frankcom, an Australian citizen and a manager at World Central Kitchen. “We want full accountability for this, because this is a tragedy that should never have occurred,” he told reporters.

“The truth is that this is beyond any reasonable circumstances,” he said, adding that his government had summoned the Israeli ambassador to Australia.

Australia has previously called for a “sustainable cease-fire” in Gaza.

World Central Kitchen has become a key organization in the perilous, politically fraught efforts to distribute humanitarian aid to desperate Gazans. Israel has severely limited the aid that reaches Gaza through land crossings, leaving shipments by sea as an increasingly important means of delivering food to the enclave. A vessel carrying 400 tons of food left Cyprus for Gaza on Saturday.

The Israeli military has said that it provided security and coordination to the organization in prior operations.

On Tuesday, the military said that it “makes extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and has been working closely with W.C.K. in their vital efforts to provide food and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.”

World Central Kitchen said in a statement on Monday that it was “aware of reports” that its staff members were killed “in an I.D.F. attack while working to support our humanitarian food delivery efforts in Gaza,” referring to the Israel Defense Forces.

“This is a tragedy,” the organization said. “Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be a target. Ever.”

Damien Cave contributed reporting from Sydney, Aric Toler from Kansas City, Kan., and Anushka Patil from New York.

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