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Biden says aid staff ‘must be protected’ after deadly Israel strike: White House

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier that his country’s military had “unintentionally” killed the aid workers, who included Australian, British, Palestinian, Polish and US-Canadian nationals.

Screenshot 2024 04 03 083338WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden insisted aid workers be protected as he called the chef whose humanitarian non-profit lost seven employees in an Israeli strike in Gaza, the White House said Tuesday.

The White House added that it was “outraged” by the strike on employees of World Central Kitchen, which was founded by Spanish-American celebrity chef Jose Andres.

“The president called chef Jose Andres to express that he’s heartbroken by this news of the airstrike that killed seven aid workers, and to express and share his deepest condolences,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

“The president conveyed he will make clear to Israel that humanitarian aid workers must be protected,” she told a briefing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier that his country’s military had “unintentionally” killed the aid workers, who included Australian, British, Palestinian, Polish and US-Canadian nationals.

“We were outraged to learn” of the strike, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told the briefing later.

The United States now awaited the results of an Israeli investigation into the killings, said Kirby, adding that he expected it to be completed within days rather than weeks.

Kirby said they would wait for the findings, when asked whether Washington accepted Netanyahu’s explanation that the incident was accidental.

The Israeli strike targeted a clearly marked convoy, following what the US charity said had been its own coordination with the Israeli military to avoid any danger.

“Your question presumes at this early hour that it was a deliberate strike, that they knew exactly what they were hitting, that they were hitting aid workers and did it on purpose — and there’s no evidence of that,” he said.

The US State Department had so far found no indication that Israel had violated international humanitarian law during its offensive on Gaza following the October 7 attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Israel, Kirby added.

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