2 Apr, 2024 @ 10:49
3 mins read

British and American citizens are among seven aid workers killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza: Victims worked for Spanish chef Jose Andre’s’ NGO

VICTIMS of an Israeli strike on Gaza were British and American citizens who worked for an NGO run by Spanish chef Jose Andre. 

At least seven employees of World Central Kitchen, an NGO run by Spanish chef, Jose Andres, died this Monday, April 1.

It comes after Israeli forces bombed their vehicle in the Deir al Bala, in central Gaza. 

The victims include British citizens, one Canadian-American, an Australian, a Pole and Palestinians. 

The first named victim is Australian aid worker, Zomi Frankcom, 43.

Zomi Frankcom died ‘doing what she loves’. Photo: World Central Kitchen/Instagram

Her family said she died ‘doing what she loves’. 

Zomi, an Australian citizen, is the only named victim of an Israeli strike on an NGO vehicle yesterday, April 1. Photo; Zomi Frankcom/Facebook

READ MORE: Spain and Ireland demand Brussels investigate Israel for potential human rights abuses in Gaza

The rest of the victims are yet to be identified but the Independent has reported there are three British citizens amongst the dead. 

The NGO has issued a statement lamenting the ‘tragedy’, saying ‘humanitarian workers should never become targets.’ 

The statement, posted on Twitter, read: “We have received news that members of the World Central Kitchen team have died in an attack by the Israeli armed forces while they were working to support our humanitarian aid providing food to Gaza. 

“It’s a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should never be a target. Never.” 

Many colleagues and volunteers have shown their support, saying the friends of family of the deceased were ‘unconsolable’. 

They also urged Israeli forces to put an end to this ‘indiscriminate killing’ and ‘stop restricting humanitarian aid’. 

“These are people we worked with in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, the Bahamas and Indonesia. They are not faceless, they have names.

“No more innocent lives should be lost. Peace starts with our shared humanity. We have to start now.” said Jose Andre. 

The chef also urged Israel to stop ‘using food as a weapon’ and ‘killing civilians and aid workers.’ 

As a result of the tragedy, the NGO has been forced to pause their operation in Gaza. 

Reportedly, the team were travelling through a deescalated area in two vehicles emblazoned with the World Central Kitchen logo. 

They had just crossed into the north after helping deliver aid that had arrived hours earlier on a ship from Cyprus. 

WCK said: “Despite coordinating movements with the IDF, the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route.”

The NGO had been providing food to starving citizens in Gaza. Photo: World Central Kitchen/Facebook

READ MORE: Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez uses Christmas message to call for an end to the ‘unbearable suffering’ of the people of Gaza

After the incident, their bodies were taken to Al-Aqsa Marytyrs Hospital. 

They are believed to be the first foreign aid workers killed in Gaza since October 7. 

As of today, some 32,800 people have been killed in Gaza, the majority women and children. 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated he is ‘shocked and saddened’ by the death of British aid workers, saying ‘clearly there are questions that need to be answered’.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary David Cameron has called on Israel to ‘immediately investigate’ the deaths, calling for ‘a full, transparent explanation of what happened’.

The British Foreign Office said it was ‘aware’ of the deaths: “We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Gaza and are urgently seeking further information.”

The Israeli army confirmed they would ‘conduct an exhaustive review of this tragic incident to understand why it occurred’. 

They also claimed they had worked tightly with the WCK to give out food and humanitarian aid in Gaza. 

Although run by well-known Spanish chef Jose Andres, the NGO is based in the US, where Andres lives and works. 

On March 15, they brought 200 tonnes of food and water, inaugurating a sea corridor onboard the Open Arms boat. 

Nonetheless, the international community has warned only a huge influx of food and water could help alleviate the food shortages in Gaza. 

WCK was in Gaza alongside another NGO, Open Arms, to establish a humanitarian sea corridor between Chiipre and the Gaza Strip following difficulties providing aid by land.

READ MORE: Spain’s Pedro Sanchez has ‘frank doubts’ that Israel’s actions in Gaza are in line with international humanitarian laws

Spain's November jobless total is lowest for the month since 2007
Previous Story

Spain boasts lowest unemployment figures for March since 2008: Easter holidays give boost to jobs

Next Story

4 bedroom Villa for sale in Arboleas with pool – € 229,900

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press