Israel Admits to ‘Grave Mistake’ Over World Central Kitchen Strike

The Israel Defense Forces announced on April 5 that two officers had been dismissed and another three received reprimands for their involvement in the April 1 drone strike that killed seven aid workers from the humanitarian group World Central Kitchen, CBS News reported.

The IDF’s investigation into the incident, which was conducted by a retired general, concluded that the officers violated the military’s rules of engagement and mishandled information.

In its statement summarizing the investigation, the IDF blamed the deaths on “mistaken identification,” explaining that the officers who approved the strike “were convinced” that they were “targeting armed Hamas operatives.”

The IDF stated that the strike was “a grave mistake” and a “serious failure” caused by “mistaken identification” and “errors in decision-making” that resulted in “an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures.”

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari described the incident as a “tragedy” and said the IDF was responsible. He said the strike should never have been ordered and the IDF would ensure “that it won’t happen again.”

The findings of retired Gen. Yoav Har-Even’s investigation were announced within hours of President Joe Biden’s call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The president described the death of the aid workers as “unacceptable” and warned the prime minister that the US policy on the war in Gaza would depend on Israel taking further action to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, according to the White House.

In an April 5 statement, World Central Kitchen said the findings were an important step but blasted the IDF for deploying “deadly force without regard” to the chain of command or the rules of engagement. It also called for a second, independent investigation into the incident.

The group demanded “systemic change” and urged Israel to “dramatically increase” the amount of humanitarian aid flowing into Gaza by land.