(NEW YORK) — An Israeli attack in Gaza on a convoy of aid workers from World Central Kitchen, the relief organization providing desperately needed food to Palestinians, has generated outrage from the group’s founder, celebrity chef José Andrés and condemnation from around the world.

Israel has apologized for the strikes, which killed seven members of the group late Monday, saying it was an accident in “the fog of war.” They have promised a thorough investigation of the incident, which Andrés said was deliberate.

Nearly six months after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, the Israeli military continues its bombardment of the neighboring Gaza Strip. About 1,200 people were killed in the initial terrorist attack, according to Israeli officials, while Israel’s bombing of Gaza has killed more than 32,000 people, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

Here’s how the news is developing:

Apr 05, 7:09 AM
IDF says there were 3 strikes on WCK convoy, misidentified worker as Hamas gunman: ‘Misjudgment’

Israel Defense Forces released a statement Friday about the deadly airstrike in Gaza that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on April 1.

The IDF said it misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman.

“After the vehicles left the warehouse where the aid had been unloaded, one of the commanders mistakenly assumed that the gunmen were located inside the accompanying vehicles and that these were Hamas terrorists. The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being associated with WCK,” the IDF said in a statement Friday.

“Following a misidentification by the forces, the forces targeted the three WCK vehicles based on the misclassification of the event and misidentification of the vehicles as having Hamas operatives inside them, with the resulting strike leading to the deaths of seven innocent humanitarian aid workers,” the statement continued.

The report said there were three strikes on the convoy. It also said WCK workers hit in the first vehicle were hit again while moving to another vehicle in the convoy.

“The investigation’s findings indicate that the incident should not have occurred. Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees,” the IDF said. “The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake stemming from a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures.”

It said WCK correctly coordinated its movements with the IDF prior to the night the workers were killed and that there was a “comprehensive plan” in place for the WCK movement on April 1.

Apr 05, 5:16 AM
‘The real test is results’: Blinken reacts to Israel border crossing announcements

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about the announcement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office’s announcement overnight that additional crossings into Gaza would be opened up for aid to enter.

He said the U.S. “welcomed” the development but that “the real test is results, and that’s what we’re looking to see in the coming days, the coming weeks.”

“Is the aid effectively reaching the people who need it throughout Gaza?” he said. “Do we have a much better system for deconfliction and coordination so that the humanitarian workers, the folks who are delivering the aid, can do it safely and securely? All of these things are critical.”

Blinken said these aims would be measured by clear metrics “like the number of trucks that are actually getting in on a sustained basis,” and the aid making it to those in need through the enclave — “including critically northern Gaza.”

He said the administration would be closely watching to see if other measurements were reversed, including “the fact that almost 100% of the population is acutely food insecure” as well as indicators of potential famine.

“So really, the proof is in the results,” he said.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Apr 04, 10:18 PM
Partner of killed aid worker calls for answers: ‘We need the truth of what happened’

The partner of one of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza this week is pleading for answers into the deadly attack.

“We need some answers,” Sandy Leclerc, the partner of Jacob Flickinger, a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, told ABC News on Thursday, in her first television interview since the attack. “We need the truth of what happened because this situation is so unclear.”

“Please Mr. Biden, give us the truth of what happened,” she asked of President Joe Biden as she spoke with ABC News correspondent Phil Lipof.

Apr 04, 6:17 PM
Israel to open another border crossing point after Biden-Netanyahu call: Official

Israel has decided to open another border crossing point — the Erez checkpoint — to allow humanitarian aid to cross into Gaza, according to an Israeli official.

The decision comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by phone earlier Thursday.

“This increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is necessary to ensure the continuation of the fighting and to achieve the goals of the war,” the official said in a statement. “In light of this, Israel will allow the temporary delivery of humanitarian aid through Ashdod (port) and the Erez checkpoint and will increase the Jordanian aid coming in through Kerem Shalom.”

-ABC News’ Dana Savir

Apr 04, 6:07 PM
WCK airstrike won’t affect emergency pier mission: Pentagon

The U.S. military’s emergency pier system to get humanitarian aid into Gaza is still en route, Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Thursday.

Ryder said that USAID continues to work with organizations to finalize a distribution plan for the aid once it’s transferred by the system — known as JLOTS — to shore. He also acknowledged that the deadly Israeli strike that killed seven humanitarian aid workers this week “certainly doesn’t make that job easier.”

He added that it “has not deterred us from continuing to work with groups and NGOs to come up with solutions.”

Ryder confirmed that Israel has committed to providing security on shore for the pier and port system.

“I know Israel’s investigating in terms of the strike on World Central Kitchen and we trust that Israel will provide the security that we need on the shore,” he said.

Ryder said the system is expected to be operational by the end of April or early May.

“We’re not changing the mission. We’ve been tasked to provide a temporary pier. Everything is on track on schedule at this point,” he said.

-ABC News’ Luis Martinez

Apr 04, 5:17 PM
Child in Gaza ate grass to survive, UNICEF spokesperson says

A UNICEF spokesperson on the ground in Gaza told ABC News Live she is “shocked” by the conditions she has seen in hospitals, including malnourished children.

The spokesperson, Tess Ingram, said she recently visited Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza and met a 7-year-old boy who was “eating grass.”

“He was so sick and in so much pain,” Ingram told ABC’s Terry Moran Thursday. “Thankfully, the doctors there think he will make a full recovery, but he is one of hundreds of children they said that they’re treating for malnutrition at the moment.”

“This has to be unacceptable, particularly when the aid is just a few kilometers away, as is the nutrition treatments that we have that can save children’s lives,” she added.

Asked how to protect those providing humanitarian resources in Gaza, following the Israeli airstrike on an aid convoy that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers earlier this week, Ingram said “it’s called international humanitarian law.”

“That is what we are calling on the parties to the conflict to respect,” she said.

-ABC News’ Luis Rodriguez, Isabella Meneses, Kiara Brantley-Jones and Robinson Perez

Apr 04, 4:15 PM
World Central Kitchen attack is part of pattern, NGOs operating in Gaza say

Officials from humanitarian organizations operating in the Gaza Strip stressed to reporters Thursday that they believe the Israeli airstrikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers on Monday is part of a pattern.

They said other humanitarian workers were targeted and killed before, including doctors, nurses and journalists, but they were Palestinians.

“The condemnation for the World Central Kitchen incident is right and just, but where is it for every other humanitarian worker, for every other hospital that is destroyed, for every attempt to manipulate the media?” said Christopher Lockyear, secretary general of Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières. “What happened to [World Central Kitchen] is part of a pattern. … This is about impunity and total disregard of rules of war.”

Asked if the World Central Kitchen attack will significantly decrease humanitarian work in Gaza, Lockyear responded, “We remain present in Gaza, but we are assessing the risks on a daily basis.”

-ABC News’ Camilla Alcini and Ellie Kaufman

Apr 04, 4:11 PM
US warns of policy changes if Israel doesn’t take action to better protect civilians

President Joe Biden spoke Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, their first conversation since seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

Biden had strongly condemned the incident, which Israel’s said was unintentional, saying he was “outraged.”

Biden further expressed to Netanyahu that the strikes on the food relief workers and the overall humanitarian crisis in Gaza are “unacceptable,” according to a White House readout of the call.

For the first time, the White House hinted the president may consider a change in U.S. policy with respect to Gaza if Israel doesn’t take action to better protect civilians and aid workers.

“He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers,” the readout read. “He made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps.”

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-ABC News’ Molly Nagle and Alexandra Hutzler

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