Israeli Military Fires Two Officers Over Strike That Killed Aid Workers, Says Attack Violated Rules

REUTERS/Ahmed Zakot

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday dismissed two of its officers after an investigation found that it violated the military’s rules when conducting a recent airstrike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers.

Seven employees of the World Central Kitchen (WCK), including one U.S. citizen, were killed on Tuesday after the IDF conducted an airstrike on a convoy of marked vehicles in Gaza, suspecting they were hostile militants. After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the incident and ordered an investigation into the decision to strike, the IDF fired two officers and reprimanded three others while acknowledging that the strike did not satisfy the rules of engagement for Israeli forces, according to a statement of the published findings on the IDF website.

“The investigation’s findings indicate that the incident should not have occurred. Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees. The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake stemming from a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures,” read the findings of the investigation, which was presented to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi. The officers fired were the brigade chief of staff and fire support commander, who each held the ranks of colonel and major, respectively.

The WCK issued a statement approving of the IDF’s preliminary investigation but claimed that inadequate steps had been taken to prevent another incident.

“The IDF’s own video fails to show any cause to fire on our personnel convoy, which carried no weapons and posed no threat. Without systemic change, there will be more military failures, more apologies and more grieving families,” WCK wrote. “We demand the creation of an independent commission to investigate the killings of our WCK colleagues. The IDF cannot credibly investigate its own failure in Gaza.”

Israel has faced severe international criticism following the strike. President Joe Biden called the action “outrageous” and said that “Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers trying to deliver desperately needed help to civilians,” according to a statement issued by the White House.

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