Israel has attacked eight NGO convoys in Gaza since October, investigation finds

The attack by the Israeli army against the caravan of World Central Kitchen, the NGO of Spanish chef José Andrés, in which seven aid workers died on April 1, was not an isolated event.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:46
5 Reads
Israel has attacked eight NGO convoys in Gaza since October, investigation finds

The attack by the Israeli army against the caravan of World Central Kitchen, the NGO of Spanish chef José Andrés, in which seven aid workers died on April 1, was not an isolated event. This was then noticed by several humanitarian workers as well as the United Nations. And an investigation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) wanted to reaffirm this on Tuesday, revealing that the Israeli army has attacked at least eight facilities and convoys of humanitarian organizations since the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, on October 7.

According to the UN, more than 250 aid workers have died in the Gaza war. Of the total, about 190 belonged to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). The toll includes one of its security guards who was shot dead by Israeli troops on Monday, when he was in a vehicle marked with the UN symbol in the direction of the European hospital in Rafah, reported the commissioner general of that agency, Philippe Lazzarini.

“Israel's allies must recognize that these attacks that have killed humanitarian workers have happened again and again and must stop,” denounced HRW's associate director of crises, conflicts and arms, Belkis Wille.

According to the US NGO's investigation, the attacks analyzed killed 15 people, including two children, and injured 16 others. "Israeli authorities did not send advance warning to any of the humanitarian organizations before the attacks," HRW added. All of them had communicated their coordinates to the Israeli troops to guarantee their safety, as did the WCK employees, who died because a drone fired three missiles at them, one for each vehicle in the convoy, and that the Israeli army concluded that it occurred. due to an “error due to mistaken identification.”

“Far from being an isolated 'mistake,' this is just one of at least eight incidents HRW identified in which humanitarian organizations and UN agencies communicated to Israeli authorities the GPS coordinates of a convoy or its premises and Likewise, the Israeli forces attacked the convoy or the shelter without any warning,” the report stated. All of these entities - he added - agree that "there were no military objectives in the area at the time of the attack."

The other seven cases studied by HRW affected Doctors Without Borders (MSF), UNRWA, the International Rescue Committee (ICR), Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP), and the American Near East Refugee Aid Organization (Anera). Some of them occurred against the houses that housed their workers. This is the case of the attack against a guest house shared between the MAP and the ICR, on January 18, in which an F-16 plane, which is manufactured with British parts, dropped a bomb, “possibly American-made.” , against the building, the report detailed, citing an analysis by UN investigators who visited the site. Three people were injured.

The American NGO HRW called on Israel's allies, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, to suspend military assistance and arms sales to the Jewish State "as long as its forces systematically and widely violate the laws of war against Palestinian civilians with impunity." ”. “Governments that continue to provide weapons to the Israeli government risk being complicit in war crimes,” she concluded.

Doctors Without Borders, which, according to the report, was the target of three of the eight attacks mentioned, denounced in April the impunity with which Israel acts against NGOs. For its part, HRW demanded transparency from Israel in its report. That allows the experts in charge of investigating the attacks access to all the coordination processes with the organizations that occurred “before, during and after” these incidents, as well as any information they had about the alleged military objective in the vicinity. that motivated the attack.

Even today José Andrés calls for an independent investigation of the attack that killed seven WCK employees. Israel concluded that the Israeli military had wrongly identified armed men inside one of the vehicles. For this attack, which received more media attention and complaints from allied countries than the others as it involved foreign workers, the Israeli army and leaders apologized. US President Joe Biden called the incident “unacceptable,” marking the first diplomatic crisis between the two countries since the start of the war by suggesting he could stop supporting Israel.