World Central Kitchen murders: Yet another Israeli war crime

By Monica Moorehead
April 9, 2024

The deliberate targeting of seven workers with the World Central Kitchen (WCK) by not one, not two, but three Israeli airstrikes on April 1 has justifiably deepened the world outrage against the Zionist, apartheid state.

These martyred workers – Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, Laizawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, Damian Soból, Jacob Flinkinger, John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby – came from different parts of the world: occupied Palestine, Britain, Australia, Poland, Canada and the U.S.

Their three-car convoy had just finished overseeing the delivery of over 100 tons of humanitarian aid from the Deir al-Balah warehouse, brought into northern Gaza at a newly built aid jetty.  The delivery and the movements of these workers had all been coordinated with the Israeli Occupation Forces, with their vehicles clearly marked with the WCK emblem.

The first response from the war criminal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was that the killings were a “mistake” and an “unfortunate” consequence of war and that the IOF would “investigate” what happened. This amounts to a fox being asked to guard a chicken coop. Then on April 5, an IOF spokesperson, Daniel Hagari, stated that the IOF took “full responsibility” for the attack, calling it a “tragedy.”

President Joe Biden issued an April 2 statement saying how “outraged” and “brokenhearted” he was regarding the WCK deaths. In the same breath, he granted another $18 billion for more armaments to Israel. Biden then urged Israel to open up the Erez border to finally let through some of the aid and continue negotiations in Egypt with Hamas on the release of Israeli hostages taken on October 7.

On the very same day as the WCK killings, Israeli airstrikes attacked the Iranian Consulate in Damascus, Syria, killing seven people. Those killed included Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and his deputy General Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi. The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the attack was “a violation of all international obligations and conventions.”

Biden contacted the Iranian government saying that the U.S. had nothing to do with this attack, in reaction to any anticipated military response from Iran against Israel.

Deaths of other aid workers 

Many people have questioned on social media why should just the deaths of the WCK workers be emphasized when at least 200 humanitarian aid workers have been martyred for the so-called crime of trying to provide nourishing food, medical equipment and other aid to the blockade which is starving the people of Gaza? Is it because the majority of these slain workers come from the Global North, especially European countries?

These are valid questions since many of these other murdered 200 aid workers worked for UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees), which provides similar aid as WCK. UNRWA came under attack a few months ago when Israel accused some of its workers of collaborating with Hamas on the Al-Aqsa Flood operation that took place on October 7. Not only were these workers fired, but much of the funding of the UNRWA was suspended, as demanded by Israel and the U.S.

The truth is that this current U.S. administration and any previous administration have never given a damn about the plight of the Palestinian people, their friends and their allies since Israel was illegally established in 1948 under the aegis of the U.N.

Any public statements by the U.S. government made in response to any Israeli atrocities are hypocritical and cannot be taken seriously. These statements may reflect tactical differences with how Israel is conducting the genocide where civilian casualties are concerned. But nothing can really disguise the complicit U.S. role in the genocide or Washington’s determination to back Israel at all costs.

If the deaths of the seven WCK workers serve any purpose, it is that this tragedy will shine a brighter light on all of the sacrifices the many named and unnamed humanitarian aid workers have made, including losing their lives, to help alleviate the immediate, unimaginable suffering of the people in Gaza.

To say that the U.S. government, i.e. U.S. imperialism, is just as responsible as Israel if not more so for the genocide that Israel has carried out in Gaza over the past six months is an understatement. The U.S. is the number one supplier of bombs, tanks and other sophisticated weaponry to Israel – to not only terrorize Gaza, the West Bank and other occupied territory but to terrorize the peoples in the rest of the region. This keeps the flow of lucrative profits from oil and gas resources into the coffers of the billionaire ruling class.

The attack on the Iranian Consulate is just one example of this U.S.-sponsored Israeli terror against any government showing solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance.

The U.S. could stop the genocide tomorrow by cutting off all aid to Israel.