US fumes over killing of aid workers, says Israel needs to work harder to protect NGOs; Biden calls WCK founder

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

At a White House press briefing, National Security Council Communications Adviser John Kirby says the US is “outraged” by a deadly IDF strike on the World Central Kitchen convoy overnight.

“We were outraged to learn of an IDF strike that killed a number of civilian humanitarian workers yesterday from the World Central Kitchen, which has been relentlessly working to get food to those who are hungry in Gaza,” says Kirby.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says US President Joe Biden called WCK founder José Andrés to express his condolences.

Kirby says that the US expects a broad investigation: “We hope that those findings will be made public, and that there is appropriate accountability held.”

He notes that more than 200 aid workers have been killed in the war, apparently relying on figures from the UN

He says that the strike on WCK workers is “emblematic of the larger problem and evidence of why distribution of aid in Gaza has been so challenging.”

The IDF “must do much more to improve deconfliction processes,” he charges, while clarifying that the WCK strike did not appear to have been intentional.

Kirby says that the US “will continue to press Israel to do more” to ensure the safety of aid workers.

The spokesman says that force protection will be “first and foremost” in the minds of America’s military and political leaders when US forces start setting up the dock of the Gaza shore. “We’re under no illusion that Gaza isn’t a war zone,” he says.

Kirby adds that there will likely be an in-person meeting next week with senior Israeli officials to follow-up on yesterday’s virtual meeting regarding a potential Israeli operation in Rafah.

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