WCK founder Jose Andres says deadly Israeli strike was 'not bad luck'

British victims John Chapman, 57, James 'Jim' Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, were among the humanitarian workers who died in the attack.

World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres says IDF strike that killed seven aid workers , including three British nationals, was a “direct attack,” as Caroline Lewis and John Ray report

World Central Kitchen (WCK) founder and celebrity chef Jose Andres said the death of seven of his aid workers was “not just bad luck” and has maintained those killed were “clearly” employed by the charity.

“This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” Mr Andres said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

“This was over 1.5km, 1.8km, with a very defined humanitarian convoy that had signs in the top, in the roof, a very colourful logo that we are obviously very proud of.

“It’s very clear who we are and what we do.”

Mr Andres said Israel Defence Forces (IDF) knew his aid workers’ movements and targeted them “systematically, car by car”, which Israel’s minister of economy Nir Barkat described as “nonsense”.

“We were in an area that was highly controlled by the IDF,” Jose Andres, World Central Kitchen founder, said in an interview with commercial Israeli channel Keshet 12 News

WCK has said it is calling for an “independent investigation into the IDF strikes that killed seven members” of its team in Gaza on Monday.

British victims John Chapman, 57, James “Jim” Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, were among the seven who died in the attack.

Mark Townsend, a friend of Mr Kirby, described the army veteran as “always an incredibly kind bloke” in an interview with Good Morning Britain on Thursday.

He would “never let anybody suffer”, Mr Townsend said.

WCK’s chief executive officer Erin Gore and executive co-chair and treasurer Javier Garcia confirmed what happened in a joint statement, saying the Israeli Defence Forces killed seven humanitarian aid workers employed by the charity on April 1.

“The aid workers killed were nationals of Australia, Canada/US (dual citizen), Gaza, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Israel has admitted to the killings but called it a ‘a tragic event in which our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants and something that ‘happens in war’,” they said.

“This was a military attack that involved multiple strikes and targeted three WCK vehicles. All three vehicles were carrying civilians; they were marked as WCK vehicles; and their movements were in full compliance with Israeli authorities, who were aware of their itinerary, route, and humanitarian mission.”

The statement asked the governments of Australia, Canada, the United States of America, Poland, and the United Kingdom to join them in a third-party investigation into the attacks and “whether they were carried out intentionally or otherwise violated international law”.

The seven victims of the Israeli missile strike on Monday. / Credit: World Central Kitchen

The charity said it has asked the Israeli government to immediately keep all documents, communications, video and audio recordings relevant to the strikes.

“An independent investigation is the only way to determine the truth of what happened, ensure transparency and accountability for those responsible, and prevent future attacks on humanitarian aid workers,” the statement added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the attack as unintended and “tragic” and pledged an independent inquiry.

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