Gaza Destroyed, Aid Workers Murdered: A Deliberate Israeli Strategy?

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 15 Apr 2024

Robin Edward Poulton, Ph.D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

The NGO World Central Kitchen accuses Israel of systematically targeting aid workers in Gaza and demands an independent investigation.

8 Apr 2024Yes, I am one of tens of thousands of observers who has come to believe that Israel’s assassination of aid workers must be deliberate. The missile attack on WCK was a war crime; a crime against humanity and part of a genocidal Likud plan to eliminate Gazans from the Mediterranean coastline that they have occupied for a thousand years.

Having spent my life as an aid worker, naturally these murders feel close.

Like Senator Chuck Schumer, I am angry with the Israeli government. That is not an anti-semitic statement.  The law An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth creates a world of blind and toothless people.

 The Middle East needs a new mode of reasoning. We need conflict transformation, seeking a better place to raise a child.

Hamas clearly has an institutional policy to kill Israelis. This is horrible, criminal and Israel has a right to defend itself. Israel’s decision to destroy Gaza is a terrible and stupid response: you cannot destroy ideas and ideology with bombs, as America has proved in Afghanistan (Taliban) and Iraq (ISIS). What I am saying is that Israel seems to have adopted a similar policy to Hamas.

So long as both sides keep building hatred, there will be no peace in the Middle East and no security for Israel.

One of the three WCK vehicles destroyed by IDF missiles visited by UN inspectors, following the murder by IDF of 7 WCK staff on the night of April 1st

Is there a deliberate Israeli State policy to kill aid workers? 

Any “State” contains a multitude of conflicting interests and policies.

The evidence suggests that inside the Israeli State Apparatus, there are people who wish to destroy Gaza and use famine as one weapon of war. The killing of aid workers is a deliberate policy of these people, aiming to disrupt the flow of aid.  For the same reason, they are blocking frontier transit points.  Meanwhile millions of people inside Israel are horrified at the suggestion that Gazans should starve, appalled by the deaths of 33,000 Palestinians including 12,000 children, and furious that their Israeli government refuses to make the safety of Israeli hostages a priority.

The Guardian Newspaper has a report that Israel Defense Force sharpshooters (snipers) are deliberately shooting children – something the IDF denies although hospital doctors believe it to be true.  Almost one in three IDF victims are children. This is not a normal statistic for a war zone.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/02/gaza-palestinian-children-killed-idf-israel-war

Palestinian children gathering in Gaza before Israel launched its war
UNWRA photo.

 Are the IDF deliberately targeting aid workers? All we can do is to look at the facts, and make your own dispassionate judgement.

Here is a brief summary of the evidence, borrowed from Counter-Currents, an independent news site that I recommend to all my friends:

https://countercurrents.org/2024/04/details-show-israels-airstrike-on-world-central-kitchen-staff-was-deliberate/

The STAGGERING DESTRUCTION of GAZA

The damage that has been inflicted on the Gaza Strip with the full backing of the Biden administration is beyond devastating. In a report published Tuesday April 2nd, the United Nations and World Bank found that Israel caused $18.5 billion worth of damage to infrastructure in Gaza in just the first month of the onslaught.

This figure is equivalent to 97 percent of the combined gross domestic product of all of the Palestinian territories in 2022. The report concluded, “An estimated 26 million tons of debris and rubble have been left in the wake of the destruction, an amount that is estimated to take years to remove.”

It noted that over a million people are without homes, and 75 percent of the population has been displaced.

A staggering 84 percent of health facilities have been damaged or destroyed, and virtually the whole sanitation system has collapsed. Almost the entire student population is out of school, as the education system has been shattered.

In a statement Tuesday, the Palestinian Ministry of Education said that 6,050 Palestinian students have been killed by Israel since October 7.

More than 200 AID WORKERS have been MURDERED

Israel’s systematic targeting of food distribution workers is part of its systematic effort to starve the population of Gaza.

In a statement condemning the attack, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the attack brings the number of humanitarian workers killed in Gaza “to 196 – including more than 175 members of our own UN staff.”

Over the past month, Israel has killed hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza at food distribution centers in so-called “flour massacres,” including one in late February that killed at least 112 and injured more than 700.

The deliberate WORLD KITCHEN ASSASSINATIONS

Francesca Albanese, the lawyer who is United Nations Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, said in a statement on Tuesday, “Knowing how Israel operates, my assessment is that Israeli forces intentionally killed #WCK workers so that donors would pull out and civilians in Gaza could continue to be starved quietly.”

The attack used precision munitions directly targeting the roofs of the vehicles, which displayed large logos clearly identifying their occupants as humanitarian workers.

World Central Kitchen had informed the Israeli military of its travel plans, meaning that the Israeli military would have been fully aware of the vehicles it was attacking.

In its investigation of the killing, Al Jazeera found that the three vehicles transporting the aid workers were targeted one at a time.

After leaving the World Central Kitchen’s warehouse, the first vehicle in the convoy was struck approximately one mile down the road. Al Jazeera reported that “the injured were transferred from the first targeted car to another armoured vehicle to expedite their transport.”

Al Jazeera’s investigation found that “the second vehicle was targeted approximately 800 metres (2,525 feet) away from where the first was hit. The third car was targeted about 1.6km (nearly a mile) away from the second car.” Based on these facts, Al Jazeera’s Sanad Verification Agency “found that the attacks were, in fact, intentional.”

World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore said in a statement, “This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.”

The aid organization said the victims were from Australia, Poland, United Kingdom, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, and Palestine.

After World Central Kitchen released the names and photos of the aid workers later in the day on Tuesday, Gore added, “These are the heroes of World Central Kitchen. These 7 beautiful souls were killed by the IDF in a strike as they were returning from a full day’s mission. Their smiles, laughter, and voices are forever embedded in our memories. And we have countless memories of them giving their best selves to the world. We are reeling from our loss. The world’s loss.”

Extracts. You can read the full article at CounterCurrents.org:

Details Show Israel’s Airstrike on World Central Kitchen Staff Was Deliberate
in Palestine    by Andre Damon    03/04/2024

__________________________________

Robin Poulton, Chevalier de l’Ordre Royal du Sahametrei (Cambodia), Chevalier de l’Ordre National (Mali), is a member of the TRANSCEND Network who has been working in West African peace and development since 1980. An International Peace Consultant and founder of EPES Mandala Consulting Ltd., former Weapons-for-Development advisor to EU-ASAC, researcher with UNIDIR Geneva (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research), School of World Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, West Africa Research Association and elsewhere, he is author most recently of Peace Is Possible about peace building and disarmament in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge. Website: https://robinpoulton.com/. Email: poultonrobin@gmail.com


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 15 Apr 2024.

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