For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Statement by Administrator Samantha Power

The seven humanitarians killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza yesterday were there to do one thing – to help get food to desperate, starving people. Their deaths, and the deaths of more than 30,000 Palestinians and 200 humanitarian workers in this conflict, are devastating and deeply alarming. 

More aid workers have been killed in the six months of this war than during any previous conflict. We acknowledge Israel’s commitment to conduct a comprehensive investigation into how yesterday’s strike occurred, and as President Biden said, that investigation must be swift, it must bring accountability, and its findings must be made public. But what is clear is that the Government of 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. 

With nearly the entire population in Gaza living under the threat of Famine, the team at World Central Kitchen (WCK) has been relentlessly working to get assistance to those in need. They have been on the ground throughout this conflict, serving people hot meals wherever they can and using every tool at their disposal to reach desperate families. Every day, they, along with countless other humanitarian workers, are putting their lives at risk to help others. On behalf of USAID, I have shared with WCK Founder José Andrés our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of those killed. Our thoughts also go out to the members of the broader humanitarian community, who are mourning this devastating loss. 

USAID and our partners will continue to do all we can to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza, but the Government of Israel and the IDF must do much more to facilitate this work. We will continue to press Israel to create the conditions to ensure the safety of humanitarian actors and activities, open additional land crossings, remove impediments to the delivery of humanitarian aid, and do far more to prevent the killing of humanitarian workers and innocent civilians.

Samantha Power
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