7 World Central Kitchen aid workers die in Gaza bombing, adding to growing number of humanitarian workers, journalists killed in Israel-Hamas war

Workers with the food charity, created by famed chef José Andrés, died while delivering meals on Monday.

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Seven humanitarian aid workers who were delivering food in Gaza were killed by an Israeli airstrike on Monday — adding to the growing list of volunteers and journalists killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said Israel’s armed forces “unintentionally” struck a convoy that belonged to the humanitarian group World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza.

“It happens in war,” Netanyahu said. “We will investigate it right to the end; we check it to the end. We are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything so that this thing does not happen again.”

WCK, a nonprofit founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, has provided more than 37 million meals to Palestinians in Gaza since Oct. 7. The charity said in a statement that the seven aid workers who were killed included citizens of Australia, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as one U.S.-Canada dual citizen and a Palestinian driver.

"They are not faceless. They are not nameless. The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing," Andrés said in a post on X. "It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers and stop using food as a weapon."

People comfort each other.
People comfort each other as they receive the bodies of World Central Kitchen workers who were killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza. (Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images)

Hundreds of humanitarian workers reportedly killed in Gaza

This is not the first instance of violence against aid workers since the start of the war, almost six months ago. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the main U.N. agency in Gaza, reported that 176 of its workers have been killed since the war began and before the seven WCK workers were killed.

The U.S.-funded Aid Worker Security Database, which documents major incidents of violence against aid personnel, has recorded more than 196 aid workers have been killed in Gaza — though not all have been killed in the line of duty.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations aid coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said in a statement that the number of aid workers who have been killed is “nearly three times the death toll recorded in any single conflict in a year.”

‘Deadliest period’ for journalists and media workers

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called the Israel-Hamas war the “deadliest period” for journalists and media workers since the CPJ began collecting data in 1992.

As of Tuesday, the CPJ’s preliminary investigations have found at least 95 journalists and media workers have been killed since Oct. 7.

In addition to those 95 confirmed dead, 16 journalists have been reported injured, four have been reported missing and 25 have been reported arrested. These statistics do not account for the number of assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship and killings of family members that have also occurred, according to CPJ.