Chef José Andrés Says World Central Kitchen Members Were Killed in Gaza Airstrike

UPDATE: Seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, were killed in Gaza on Monday night, according to the nonprofit organization.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the organization said the workers were “traveling in a deconflicted zone in two armored cars branded with the WCK logo and a soft skin vehicle.”

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“Despite coordinating movements with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route,” the statement continued.

“This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore.

President Joe Biden issued a statement on the deaths of the World Central Kitchen workers: “I am outraged and heartbroken by the deaths of seven humanitarian workers from World Central Kitchen, including one American, in Gaza yesterday. They were providing food to hungry civilians in the middle of a war. They were brave and selfless. Their deaths are a tragedy.”

President Biden added, “Israel has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into why the aid workers’ vehicles were hit by airstrikes. That investigation must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public.”

Read President Biden’s full statement below:

PREVIOUSLY: Celebrity chef and humanitarian José Andrés has announced that several members of his World Central Kitchen nonprofit organization were killed in Gaza on Monday.

“I am heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and our whole WCK family,” Andrés wrote on X/Twitter. “There are people…angels…I served alongside in Ukraine, Gaza, Turkey, Morocco, Bahamas, Indonesia. They are not faceless…they are not nameless.”

The Associated Press reported that “an apparent Israeli airstrike killed four international aid workers with the World Central Kitchen charity and their Palestinian driver.”

World Central Kitchen shared a statement on social media regarding the deaths of these members.

“This is a tragedy. Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER,” the statement read.

Founded in 2010 by Andrés, World Central Kitchen is devoted to cooking and delivering meals to people in need following social and environmental disasters. Andrés and his nonprofit were the subject of “We Feed People,” the 2022 National Geographic documentary directed by Ron Howard.

“This documentary comes in a very unique moment in the history of humanity when I sincerely believe that governments of the world are taking food for granted,” Andrés told Variety in 2022. “Emergencies, in a way, are the perfect moment to show that food is a true necessity for humans.”

The Gaza region has been devastated by violence and bombings since Oct. 7, when terrorist attacks and hostage-taking by Hamas set off war with Israel.

(Pictured: José Andrés in the 2022 documentary “We Feed People.”)

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