Sunday 7 April 2024

Israel’s Military Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ For Strike That Killed 7 Aid Workers; Fires Those Responsible, Implements Changes

 The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Friday that it took “full responsibility” for an airstrike that tragically killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers inside Gaza.

The strike happened on Monday during an operation to transfer humanitarian aid from the WCK to the Gaza Strip, the IDF said in a statement following the conclusion of an independent investigation into the incident carried out by the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Fact-Finding and Assessment Mechanism (FFAM).

While the vehicles that the WCK workers were traveling in were properly marked, the markings were not visible to the cameras that were monitoring the vehicles because the mission took place at night.

The IDF “identified a gunman on one of the aid trucks, following which they identified an additional gunman,” the report said. “After the vehicles left the warehouse where the aid had been unloaded, one of the commanders mistakenly assumed that the gunmen were located inside the accompanying vehicles and that these were Hamas terrorists. The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being associated with WCK. Following a misidentification by the forces, the forces targeted the three WCK vehicles based on the misclassification of the event and misidentification of the vehicles as having Hamas operatives inside them, with the resulting strike leading to the deaths of seven innocent humanitarian aid workers.”

The IDF said that the strikes were carried out “in serious violation” of the IDF’s Standard Operating Procedures and that there were serious “errors in decision-making” that occurred.

The IDF announced the following changes in command were to be implemented effective immediately: the brigade fire support commander, an officer with the rank of major, will be dismissed from his position; the brigade chief of staff, an officer with the rank of colonel in reserve, will be dismissed from his position; additionally, the brigade commander and the 162nd Division commander will be formally reprimanded; and the IDF Chief of Staff decided to formally reprimand the commander of the Southern Command for his overall responsibility for the incident.


“The IDF takes seriously the grave incident that claimed the lives of seven innocent humanitarian aid workers,” the statement said. “We express our deep sorrow for the loss and send our condolences to the families and the WCK organization. We consider the vital humanitarian activity of international aid organizations to be of utmost importance, and we will continue to work to coordinate and assist their activities, while ensuring their safety and safeguarding their lives.”

IDF Spokesperson RAdm. Daniel Hagari said that “significant measures” were being implemented effective immediately that he hopes will prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

“This is a tragedy. It was a terrible chain of errors, and it should never have happened,” Hagari said. “The IDF takes full responsibility for this regrettable loss of life.”


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