Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory Mr. Jamie McGoldrick

2 April 2024 | 12h00

I am extremely saddened and appalled by the Israeli army’s multiple airstrikes last night that killed seven World Central Kitchen personnel in Deir al-Balah, Gaza. My condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of the World Central Kitchen personnel who were killed. 

This is not an isolated incident. As of 20 March, at least 196 humanitarians had been killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since October 2023. This is nearly three times the death toll recorded in any single conflict in a year.

Since October 2023, the oPt has become one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places to work. There is no safe place left in Gaza.

All parties to the conflict, including the Government of Israel, must respect international humanitarian law, which prohibits the targeting of humanitarian personnel. The role of aid workers is to alleviate the suffering of people in crisis. Their safety, along with that of the civilians they serve, must be guaranteed.  

This attack comes at a time of severe hardship and suffering in Gaza. World Central Kitchen provides desperately needed food assistance in Gaza where recent analysis has shown a risk of famine is imminent for the 2.2 million people of Gaza.  The organization estimates it has provided more than 35 million hot meals since October 2023 and established more than sixty community kitchens.