The War on Humanitarian Aid Workers

It has been a war on humanitarian workers from the start.

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The Israeli military killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen (WCK) in three consecutive targeted attacks on their vehicles. The vehicles were marked with the WCK logo, they were traveling on an approved route in a so-called safe zone, and their movements were coordinated with Israeli forces. Despite all these precautions, the vehicles were struck one after another and all of the passengers were killed. WCK has suspended their operations in Gaza as a result of the killings. Other humanitarian agencies are considering doing the same because of the extraordinary danger to their workers.

Netanyahu claims that it was an “unintentional hit,” but that simply isn’t credible. There have been too many similar attacks on humanitarian workers throughout the war for anyone to believe that this was just an unfortunate accident. We heard many of the same excuses from the Saudi coalition in Yemen when their jets would bomb clearly marked hospitals and clinics. When a client government commits an outrageous crime like this, it claims it was not intentional and promises to investigate itself. Washington takes the denials at face value because acknowledging the reality would require the U.S. to stop arming the client to the teeth.

The Israeli war in Gaza has been a war on humanitarian workers from the start. The New York Times reports:

Humanitarian workers have been killed throughout the war in Gaza. Since the war started, 176 workers for UNRWA, the United Nations body that provides aid to Palestinians, have been killed, including in the line of duty, said Juliette Touma, the agency’s director of communications. Several other aid groups say their staff members have been killed in airstrikes.

Doctors Without Borders has reported many such attacks on their personnel and facilities. The briefing that the MSF Secretary General gave to the Security Council in February described how Israeli forces had repeatedly attacked their facilities, people, and vehicles:

Our fears are rooted in experience. Just 48 hours ago, as a family sat around their kitchen table in a house sheltering MSF staff and their families in Khan Younis, a 120mm tank shell exploded through the walls, igniting a fire, and killing two people and severely burning six others. Five of the six injured are women and children.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a contributing editor for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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