Israel | Investigation conclusion of incident killing 7 WCK employees
Defence Redefined
Published on 06/04/2024 at 17:59

The investigation into the serious incident that killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) fire was conducted by the Fact-Finding and Assessment Mechanism Assessment Mechanism (FFAM) of the Armed Forces General Staff.

The investigation, headed by Major General (ret.) Yoav Har-Even, was presented yesterday (Thursday) to IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. General Herzi Halevi.

After presenting the findings of the investigation to the Chief of Staff, Major General (ret.) Har-Even presented the findings to the WCK organization and reiterated the IDF’s deep regret for the incident. The findings were also presented in briefings to international ambassadors and journalists.

The incident took place on April 1, 2024 during a WCK humanitarian aid operation in the Gaza Strip. The investigation found that the IDF first identified a gunman in one of the aid trucks, followed by another one.

After the vehicles left the warehouse where the aid was unloaded, one of the commanders mistakenly assumed that the gunmen were inside the escort vehicles and that they were Hamas terrorists.

The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being linked to the WCK. Following a misidentification by the forces, the IDF targeted and hit the three WCK vehicles as it was thought that they were carrying Hamas operatives, resulting in the deaths of seven humanitarian aid workers.

The strikes on the three vehicles were carried out in serious violation of IDF orders and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), the statement said.

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In light of the findings of the investigation, the Chief of the IDF General Staff has decided that the following administrative measures will be taken: the Brigade Fire Support Commander, an Officer (Major) will be dismissed from his position. The Brigade Chief of Staff, an officer (Colonel – reservist) will also be dismissed from his position. 

Additionally, the Brigade Commander and the 162nd Division Commander will be formally prosecuted. The IDF Chief of Staff decided to formally reprimand the Commander of the Southern Command for his overall responsibility for the incident. 

The IDF, the statement concluded, emphasizes its commitment to fighting against the Hamas terrorist organization, while upholding the law on armed conflicts and avoiding harming civilians. The IDF will incorporate the lessons learned into their ongoing operations.

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