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Israeli Military Investigation Finds ‘Grave Mistakes’ In Aid Convoy Strikes, Fires Two Officers

Palestinians are standing next to a vehicle in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2024, where employees from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), including foreigners, were killed in an Israeli airstrike, according to the NGO. The Israeli military is stating that it is conducting a thorough review at the highest levels to understand the circumstances of this ”tragic” incident, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via AP)

The Israeli military has dismissed two senior officers and formally suspended two others following deadly drone strikes in Gaza that killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers on a food-delivery mission. The move comes at the conclusion of an

Israel

Palestinians are standing next to a vehicle in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, on April 2, 2024, where employees from the World Central Kitchen (WCK), including foreigners, were killed in an Israeli airstrike, according to the NGO. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via AP)

The Israeli military has dismissed two senior officers and formally suspended two others following deadly drone strikes in Gaza that killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers on a food-delivery mission.

The move comes at the conclusion of an investigation of the incident which found the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) misidentified the volunteers and breached “operational procedure” in conducting second and third strikes on the convoy.

Yoav Har-Even, who led the investigation, concluded that WCK had correctly provided the IDF in advance with information about the convoy and had the non-profit’s logo displayed on the vehicle’s roofs.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli body overseeing aid into Gaza, would have shared this information with Southern Command to alert them of the convoy’s presence and mission. Southern Command were operating armed-drone surveillance flights in the area.

However, he said that the information on the aid convoy’s status and location “stopped somewhere” along this chain-of-command, meaning that the military unit and drone pilot who undertook the strikes could not identify the convoy. The camera on the drone could not pick up the WCK logos on the vehicles at night.

“[The soldiers’] belief that the attacked vehicles were carrying Hamas gunmen was based on operational misjudgement and misclassification of the situation,” the IDF said.

While the first strike was a case of mistaken identity, the IDF said that the further strikes, targeting survivors of the initial attack, were a “grave mistake.”

“It’s a tragedy,” said IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari. “It’s a serious event that we are responsible for and it shouldn’t have happened, and we will make sure that it won’t happen again.”

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