5 Apr, 2024 @ 14:17
1 min read

Spain-based NGO pulls out of Gaza after seven aid workers are killed by Israeli strike

ONE of Spain’s leading NGOs has pulled out of Gaza following the Israeli strike which killed seven aid workers on Monday night.

In a message posted on X, Open Arms, a charity based in Barcelona, said: “The end of Mission 110 arrives, the one we never could have imagined, the most painful”.

“We miss Saifeddin, Zomi, Damian, Jacob, John, Jim, and James, but they will remain forever in our memory, and we will continue to speak up for them, for the more than 32,500 people killed in Gaza, the hundreds of humanitarian workers, the destroyed hospitals, journalists and all the ‘isolated cases’ that are not an accident, but part of a structure of death and destruction. We will never forget you”, the statement added.

The victims – three from the UK, one from Palestine, one from Poland, one from Australia and one with dual US-Canadian nationality –  were working for World Central Kitchen, an NGO run by Spanish chef Jose Andres, when they were killed by an Israeli strike which hit their vehicles.

“The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake, stemming from a serious failure due to mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the standard operating procedures”, the Israeli military (IDF) said in a statement issued on Friday.

US President Joe Biden has since called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to protect innocent victims.

Over 30,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza since October 7, when Hamas forces killed over 1,200 Israelis and foreigners in a bloody massacre.

Catalunya-based NGO Open Arms, which was working in collaboration with World Central Kitchen at the time of the tragic strike, had been the first NGO to successfully deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza via the sea.

On March 15, the charity unloaded over 200 tonnes of much-needed aid onto the war-torn strip after authorisation was granted from Israel.

In conjunction with Jose Andres’ mission, the group provided vital supplies including flour, rice, lentils, chickpeas and tuna expected to provide over one million meals to desperate Palestinians. 

The UN-backed agency responsible for measuring food scarcity is set to declare a famine in Gaza imminently.

The NGO was founded in Badalona in 2015, focusing on rescuing refugees who had tried to reach European shores by sea.

The United Nations (UN) estimate that more than 195 humanitarian workers have been killed since the start of the conflict.

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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