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Andres: this was no accident

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Jose Andres is not buying the party line that 7 humanitarian aid workers in clearly marked vehicles a mile apart were killed by multiple precision airstrikes unintentionally:

Celebrity chef Jose Andres told Reuters in an emotional interview on Wednesday that an Israeli attack that killed seven of his food aid workers in Gaza had targeted them “systematically, car by car.”

Speaking via video, Andres said the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity group he founded had clear communication with the Israeli military, which he said knew his aid workers’ movements.

“This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” Andres said.

“This was over a 1.5, 1.8 kilometers, with a very defined humanitarian convoy that had signs in the top, in the roof, a very colorful logo that we are obviously very proud of,” he said. It’s “very clear who we are and what we do.”

Andres said the IDF was aware of the convoy’s whereabouts, opens new tab. He called for investigations of the incident by the U.S. government and by the home country of every aid worker that was killed.

“They were targeting us in a deconflicting zone, in an area controlled by IDF. They knowing that it was our teams moving on that road … with three cars,” he said.

The aid workers were killed when their convoy was hit shortly after they oversaw the unloading of 100 tons of food brought to Gaza by sea. Israel’s military expressed “severe sorrow” over the incident and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it unintentional.

Andres said there may have been more than three strikes against the aid convoy. He rejected Israeli and U.S. assertions that the strike was not deliberate.

“Initially, I would say categorically no,” Andres said when asked if he accepted that explanation.

“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 added.

Andres has more about the broader implication of attacks on aid workers — most notably that they will lead to a lot more starvation and starving as people providing desperately needed food pull out. And given the horrible effects, even the official Israeli explanation isn’t really any kind of defense:

We’ll see what further investigation reveals, but this explanation being offered by some inside sources seems plausible to me:

The army’s killing of seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip on Monday night stemmed from poor discipline among field commanders, not a lack of coordination between the army and aid organizations, army sources said on Tuesday.

They added that the officers and soldiers involved had violated Israel Defense Forces regulations and orders.

The sources accused the IDF’s Southern Command of trying to deflect blame for the incident in Deir al-Balah, in which seven employees of World Central Kitchen were killed. A source in the intelligence branch said the command “knows exactly what the cause of the attack was – in Gaza, everyone does as he pleases.”

Not, to put it mildly, encouraging. But no explanation is going to emerge that isn’t going to look horrible, and a lot of desperate people will be denied food because of it.

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