Israel Pressed on Killing World Central Kitchen Convoy

Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Tal Heinrich was pressed by CNN Tuesday over the deadly airstrike in the Gaza Strip that killed seven workers of the charity World Central Kitchen.

Israel has come under fire from the international community after the airstrike Monday night, which World Central Kitchen—a nonprofit founded by Spanish chef José Andrés—said occurred while the team was leaving a warehouse where they had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food that was brought to Gaza by sea.

Among the seven charity workers killed include one Palestinian and six foreign citizens, including a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. The other victims were from Australia, Britain and Poland.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Tuesday that the airstrike was a “tragic event in our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants in the Gaza Strip,” adding, “This happens in war. We are conducting a thorough inquiry and are in contact with the governments. We will do everything to prevent a recurrence.”

Israel Pressed on Killing Central Kitchen Convoy
Israel’s southern border with the battered Gaza Strip is pictured on Tuesday. An Israeli spokesperson was pressed by CNN over the killing of seven charity workers in Gaza.


CNN’s Erin Burnett pressed Heinrich on the deadly strike during Tuesday’s episode of OutFront, including questioning how the attack could be “unintentional.”

“In a precision missile environment, which is what Israel conducts, every strike is intentional,” Burnett prompted Heinrich. “You’re aiming for something”

The Israeli spokesperson told Burnett that she did not “want to jump into conclusions,” and urged to wait for the “exact details of what transpired” after the investigation is finished.

“But what I can say, and I think it’s really important here, is that when we make mistakes, when Israel makes mistakes, even the most tragic ones to admit … We take responsibility,” Heinrich added. “We admit to the most painful incidents. So, we tell the truth even when it’s the most inconvenient thing to say.”

Burnett also pressed Heinrich on the reported death toll in Gaza, where Gaza health officials estimate that over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war broke out following the attacks in Israel on October 7. Israeli officials say that roughly 1,200 people were killed in the attacks by Hamas.

Heinrich urged CNN to take death toll numbers provided by Gaza health officials “with a huge spoon of salt, not a grain of salt.” Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, is in charge of the health ministry in Gaza.

“What I can tell you, the facts and the truth according to our assessment and the facts that we have, is that we eliminated more than 13,000 Palestinian Islamic jihad terrorists,” Heinrich added.

Netanyahu has faced immense pressure from the international community over his government’s response to the October 7 attacks. United Nations officials have warned that large swaths of the Gaza population are facing imminent starvation, and President Joe Biden has joined calls to reach a temporary cease-fire in the conflict to ensure that aid is able to reach those in need. Such agreements would also guarantee the release of some of the hostages taken by Hamas during the October 7 attacks.

Several international figures reignited condemnation for Israel’s military response after Monday’s airstrike against the aid convoy. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said in a statement Tuesday that the “actions of those behind it are indefensible.” Biden said that he was “outraged and heartbroken” by the attack and said that Israel’s investigation into the incident “must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public.”

“Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident,” the president added. “This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed.”

Newsweek reached out to the U.S. State Department for further comment late Tuesday night.