American Aid Worker Among Those Killed in Israeli Gaza Airstrike

An American was among seven people killed during an Israeli air strike on an aid convoy in the Gaza Strip on April 1. Jacob Flickinger, a dual US-Canadian citizen, died while delivering food aid to northern Gaza with the US-based non-profit World Central Kitchen. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strike by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) troops was “unintentional,” but added, “It happens in a war.”

Mr. Flickinger died alongside three former British military personnel: James Henderson, John Chapman, and James Kirby. Lalzawmi Frankcom from Australia and Damian Sobol from Poland also died, along with Palestinian driver Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha.

President Biden said he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the incident, and a White House statement condemned Israel for not taking enough care to ensure the safety of aid workers and civilians. It called for a thorough investigation, which must “bring accountability” and publish its findings. The President said he has consistently urged Israel to be mindful of civilian casualties, adding that the US is committed to ensuring continued humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Mr. Netanyahu he was appalled by the incident and requested an independent inquiry into what went wrong and assurances that action would be taken to prevent a recurrence. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese echoed those sentiments in a phone call to Netanyahu.

IDF Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi said the attack was a mistake based on misidentification and occurred in a complex war zone under cover of darkness. “It shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

World Central Kitchen was founded in 2010 by celebrity chef José Andrés to supply meals to civilians in war zones and natural disaster sites. Mr. Andrés was inspired to create the organization after seeing the devastation caused by a Haitian earthquake and says it has delivered more than 350 million meals since its foundation.

On Twitter, Andrés called the dead aid workers “heroes” and urged Israel to stop “indiscriminate killing.”