World Central Kitchen names American Jacob Flickinger as victim of Israeli airstrike in Gaza

Tel Aviv — World Central Kitchen, the food charity founded by renowned Spanish-American chef José Andrés, has named Jacob Flickinger, 33, a dual American-Canadian national, as one of seven members of his team killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza late Monday evening. The other WCK personnel killed in the attack, which the Israeli military called a “serious mistake,” were identified as Palestinian, British, Polish and Australian nationals.

It appears their three-vehicle convoy was hit by several successive missile strikes, although the nonprofit coordinated the team’s movements with the Israel Defense Forces.

“It is an error that follows an identification error at night, during a war, in very complex conditions,” said IDF Chief of General Staff Herzl Halevi, echoing the prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu, who deplored this tragic accident. “this happens in times of war.”

An image shared by World Central Kitchen shows the seven staff members of the food charity who it says were killed by Israeli airstrikes on April 1, 2024 in the Gaza Strip, including Jacob Flickinger, 33, of dual American-Canadian citizenship, seen at the top. RIGHT. The other WCK personnel killed in the attack, which the Israeli military called a “serious mistake,” were identified as Palestinian, British, Polish and Australian nationals.

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The US government said it was outraged by the deaths and, alongside Britain and other countries involved, called on Israel to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation.

“We have made clear to Israelis the absolute imperative to do more to protect civilian lives, whether they are Palestinian children, women and men, or humanitarian workers,” the Secretary of State said on Tuesday. US State Antony Blinken.

Israel’s handling of its ongoing war against Hamas, sparked by the Palestinian group’s October 7 terrorist attack that killed some 1,200 people, has increasingly strained relations between Tel Aviv and the United States – long Israel’s most valuable ally. Health officials in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, who do not distinguish between fighter and civilian deaths, say Israel has killed more than 32,000 people in the enclave since the start of the war. war, mostly women and children.

As part of a deal signed during the Obama administration, the United States agreed to provide Israel with military aid worth $3.8 billion a year. This assistance – including shipments of “smart” guided bombs and less precise “dumb” bombs – has continued despite growing pressure from Washington for the IDF to mitigate civilian casualties in Gaza.

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Nowhere is the tension between the close allies more evident than over Israel’s plans to launch a ground offensive in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

Around 1.5 million Palestinians have flocked to Rafah and the surrounding area along Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, seeking refuge from the Israeli offensive elsewhere in the territory. Thousands of people are living in tents or other makeshift shelters, and aid agencies say there are not enough basic necessities for those who need them.

Netanyahu, his cabinet and his military commanders have insisted on the need to destroy Hamas’ remaining battalions in Rafah, and while the United States has repeatedly warned Israel against launching a full-scale attack without a credible plan to protect and evacuate civilians, the White House continued to support Israel’s right to eliminate the threat posed by Hamas.

Meanwhile, World Central Kitchen has suspended all operations in Gaza, making it even more difficult for the world to get desperately needed food to the thousands of people in need in this decimated enclave.

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Before the incident, WCK said it had shipped more than 37 million meals in Gaza since the start of the war on October 7.

“This is not just an attack on WCK, it is an attack on humanitarian organizations that respond to the most dire situations where food is used as a weapon of war,” the group’s CEO Erin Gore said in a statement. statement, calling the Israeli military’s strikes “unforgivable.”

In a long post on social networksAndrés called on the Israeli government to “stop killing civilians and aid workers, and to stop using food as a weapon.”

“Israel is better than the way this war is being fought,” he said in a New York Times opinion piece.


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