Biden ‘outraged’ at Israel over aid deaths as Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz calls for new elections


No-fly zones are a ‘must’ for aid workers in war zones, retired general says

There are a number of measures that could prevent aid worker deaths without impacting the ability for soldiers to fight in a war zone, retired Lt. Gen. Steph Twitty told MSNBC’s “Ana Cabrera Reports.” “A couple of things here…no-fly zone, that is a must when you have humanitarian folks who are operating,” Twitty said. “You gotta put a no-fly zone and prevent Israeli zones from flying in that area.” 

Twitty also notes that there should be a safe-zone for aid workers and a central command operations to coordinate humanitarian worker movements.

José Andrés, World Central Kitchen founder, said the group had been coordinating with the Israeli military for months and were on a deconflicted route when their truck was hit, killing seven of aid workers.

Polish ties to Israel put to the ‘test’ after citizen dies in strike on aid workers, prime minister says

The relationship between Poland and Israel is under strain after a Polish citizen, Damian Soból, was killed along with six other aid workers in Gaza.

Polish Prime Minster Donald Tusk addressed his Israeli counterpart directly in a post on X, saying that Poland has supported Israel since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas. His post comes after Yacov Livne, Israel’s ambassador to Poland, accused Polish citizens who accused Israel of “intentional murder” of antisemitism.

“Today you are putting this solidarity to a really hard test,” Tusk wrote. “The tragic attack on volunteers and your reaction arouse understandable anger.”

The Israeli strike on a marked World Central Kitchen truck killed seven aid workers, six of whom were foreign nationals. Netanyahu said that it was unintentional and that this “happens in war.”

Israel has faced calls from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia for a thorough and transparent investigation into the strike. A Polish prosecutor’s office has launched its own inquiry into Soból’s death.

Bodies of World Central Kitchen workers arrive in Egypt to be returned home

The bodies of six World Central Kitchen workers who were killed in Gaza were taken across the border into Egypt, Dr. Khaled Zayed, head of Egyptian Red Crescent of North Sinai, confirmed to NBC News.

There are no additional details available on how they will be repatriated to their home countries.

Jagan Champ, CEO of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said yesterday that the Palestine Red Crescent Society facilitated getting the workers to the Rafah crossing.

Image: Remains Of World Central Kitchen Workers Prepared For Return To Home Countries
Medics prepare the bodies of World Central Kitchen workers today in Rafah, Gaza, for the return to their home counties.Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images

Israel needs to start the journey to peace today, José Andrés writes

Chef José Andrés urged Israel to change course on how its conducting the war in Gaza in a New York Times column, which also honored the seven aid workers killed in an Israeli airstrike.

“Israel is better than the way this war is being waged,” Andrés wrote. “It is better than blocking food and medicine to civilians. It is better than killing aid workers who had coordinated their movements with the Israel Defense Forces.”

Andrés rejected the statement from Netanyahu that these type of deaths “happen in war.” He described it as a “direct attack on clearly marked vehicles whose movements were known by the Israel Defense Forces.”

He also blamed the strike as a direct result of the policies that “squeezed humanitarian aid to desperate.” Andrés pleaded to the best of Israelis to “show up” and remember that food is a universal human right.

“It is not a sign of weakness to feed strangers; it is a sign of strength,” Andrés wrote. “The people of Israel need to remember, at this darkest hour, what strength truly looks like.”

Situation in Gaza ‘beyond catastrophic,’ U.N. agency chief says

The situation in Gaza is “beyond catastrophic,” Dominic Allen, head of the United Nations Population Fund, told the Agence France Press news agency yesterday.

Allen, who recently spent a week in the enclave, said that he was “terrified” of what could happen if the war continued.

“I have been to Gaza many times before this war, and what I saw (this time) was truly heartbreaking. Gaza is dust,” he told the French news agency. “Everybody we drove by and many we spoke to were gaunt, starving, hungry and looking frail. Everybody was looking for food.”

Palestinians walk amid the destruction in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week military operation by the Israeli army in Gaza City, on April 2, 2024.
Palestinians walk amid the destruction in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Hospital yesterday, following a two-week military operation by the Israeli army, in Gaza City.Omar Ishaq / dpa via AP

Palestinian American doctor walks out of Biden meeting in protest

Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner

WASHINGTON — A Palestinian American doctor walked out of the room during a meeting with Arab Americans at the White House last night. 

Dr. Thaer Ahmad confirmed to NBC News that he told President Joe Biden “it was disappointing I’m the only Palestinian here, and out of respect for my community, I’m going to leave,” and handed him a letter from an 8-year-old orphaned girl in Rafah.

Ahmad is an emergency room doctor who spent at least three weeks in Gaza. The meeting to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan comes amid anger in the community over the Biden administration’s approach to the war and the U.S. support for Israel.

Prosecutors in Polish aid worker’s home city launch probe into his death in Gaza

Prosecutors in the home city of the Polish aid worker killed in Gaza have launched an investigation into his killing, the state news agency PAP reported today.

“We have started an investigation into the killing of Polish citizen Damian Sobol on April 1-2 in the Gaza Strip as a result of an attack by the Israeli armed forces using explosives,” Beata Starzecka, the deputy district prosecutor in Przemysl, told PAP.

IDF says Hezbollah charge caused U.N. observer car blast

A explosion that injured three United Nations military observers and a Lebanese interpreter on a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon was caused when their vehicle drove over a charge that had been previously placed by Hezbollah militant group, the Israeli military said on X today.

The military observers were part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, which supports the U.N. peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL.

Saturday’s blast came as clashes between the Israeli military and Hezbollah militants escalated in recent weeks.

The Israel Defense Forces has previously denied it was behind the attack.

Israeli protesters dress as Hamas militants at UNRWA headquarters

Wearing traditional Palestinian kaffiyeh scarves and carrying toy assault rifles, Israeli protesters dressed up as Hamas militants demonstrate outside the entrance of the UNRWA headquarters in Jerusalem today.

Israeli protesters UNRWA headquarters
Ohad Zwigenberg / AP

Pope expresses ‘deep regret’ over aid workers killed by Israeli strike

Pope Francis has made his latest request for a cease-fire in Gaza, while expressing his “deep regret” over the seven aid workers killed in an Israeli strike.

“I reiterate my firm request for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip,” he said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican, according to the Holy See’s news agency, Vatican News.

Francis said he was praying for the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers killed.

“Let us avoid any irresponsible attempts to escalate the conflict in the region,” he added, before calling for the world to work “tirelessly for an end to this and other wars that continue to bring death and suffering to so many parts of the world.”

USAID chief calls Israel’s killing of aid workers ‘devastating’

Samantha Power, who leads the U.S. Agency for International Development, has called the deaths of seven aid workers in an Israeli airstrike “devastating and deeply alarming.”

They “were there to do one thing — to help get food to desperate, starving people,” she said in a statement late yesterday. “Their deaths, and the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians and 200 humanitarian workers in this conflict, are devastating and deeply alarming.”

She said Israel’s investigation into the killings “must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public.” And that Israel “must do far more to protect aid workers and protect civilians from the unacceptable levels of casualties they continue to experience as a result of IDF military operations.” Power gave her “deepest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of those killed.”

The U.S., which has been criticized for verbally censuring Israel without leveraging its financial and diplomatic support of the country, “will continue to do all we can to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” Power added, “but the government of Israel and the IDF must do much more to facilitate this work.”

Police and protesters clash in ‘riot’ outside Netanyahu’s home

Police clashed with anti government protesters outside Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem last night on the third day of demonstrations calling for the release of the hostages held in Gaza and for early elections in Israel.

Netanyahu Protesters Jerusalem
Police push back demonstrators during a protest against Netanyahu’s government in Jerusalem last night.Ohad Zwigenberg / AP

Israel Police said in a statement on X that an authorized march started peacefully but then it turned into a “riot” as hundreds of people tried to break through barriers of Netanyahu’s home. 

One protester waved a burning torch at a police trooper and another was lying under a police car, the statement said. 

Five people were arrested for violating public order, it added.


Source link