News Oman urges de-escalation during Iran FM visit

WASHINGTON: World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres on Sunday called for an independent probe into the Israeli strike that killed seven of his staff in Gaza.

He warned that the conflict had become a “war against humanity itself.”
Speaking about his firsthand experience working in war-torn Ukraine, where “entire towns” have been destroyed, the head of the US-based charity also compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Spanish chef and founder of the World Central Kitchen charity Jose Andres delivers a speech after receiving the Princesa de Asturias award for Concord during the 2021 Princess of Asturias award ceremony at the Reconquista Hotel in Oviedo on October 22, 2021. (AFP)

“This investigation and many others should be done right, should be done in an independent way,” Andres said in an emotional interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
“This doesn’t seem like a war against terror. This doesn’t seem any more like a war about defending Israel,” he said. “It, at this point, seems like a war against humanity itself.”

BACKGROUND

Three Britons, a US-Canadian dual national, a Pole, an Australian, and a Palestinian were killed when the World Central Kitchen convoy, whose route was cleared with the Israeli army, was repeatedly struck.

Andres is a celebrity chef in the US, and the White House has called the killing of the aid workers from his charity a “catalyst” for sterner calls by US President Joe Biden for Israel to curtail the killing of civilians and aid workers and improve the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Andres called the new aid routes a “first step.”
He said he supports Israel’s right to defend itself but questioned why the US was supplying weapons to a country that is “killing American citizens who are humanitarians.”
The Israeli Defense Forces have insisted that their killing on Monday of the World Central Kitchen workers in Gaza was a “tragic mistake.”
Three Britons, a US-Canadian dual national, a Pole, an Australian, and a Palestinian were killed when the WCK convoy, whose route was cleared with the IDF, was repeatedly struck.
In its investigation, the Israeli military said an armed man climbed on the roof of one of the trucks and “started firing his weapon,” leading to suspicions that Hamas had hijacked the “convoy.”
When asked about the Israeli report’s findings, Andres questioned the narrative and charged that Israel was targeting anything that “seems” to move and has been doing so “for too long.”
“I want to thank, obviously, the IDF, for doing such a quick investigation,” Andres said, adding that it didn’t go deep enough.
“We need more information. We need to see better-quality videos,” he said. What were the conversations, the radio conversations, between the different officers and soldiers in charge?“
“The perpetrator cannot be investigating himself,” he added.
Calling the killings “unforgivable,” Andres also compared the destruction in Gaza to that in Ukraine.
“I’ve seen firsthand what has been happening in Ukraine, entire towns and cities being wiped out by Russia and by Putin. What Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing is exactly the same,” he said.