Netanyahu Released From Hospital, Calls Strike Killing Aid Workers ‘Tragic’

‘Unfortunately, on the last day, there was a tragic event of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip,’ said Mr. Netanyahu.
Netanyahu Released From Hospital, Calls Strike Killing Aid Workers ‘Tragic’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (not pictured) speak to the media following talks at the Chancellery, in Berlin, Germany, on March 16, 2023. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Jackson Richman

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was released from the hospital on April 2 and called an Israeli strike that killed aid workers “tragic.”

Mr. Netanyahu underwent hernia surgery.

An April 1 Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip killed seven workers with the World Central Kitchen, a program run by world-renowned chef José Andrés that provides meals in war and disaster zones.

“Unfortunately, on the last day, there was a tragic event of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip,” said Mr. Netanyahu in a statement. “This happens in war; we are checking thoroughly, we are in contact with the governments, and we will do everything to prevent this from happening again.

“I would like to thank Professor Pikarsky and the wonderful medical staff of the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, who performed a successful hernia operation on me. I would also like to thank you, the multitudes of citizens of Israel, for sending your wishes for recovery. I’m recovering. Thank you,” he added.

While Mr. Netanyahu was hospitalized, Israelis staged the largest protest in Jerusalem since the war began, calling for the Israeli government to bring home the hostages taken by Hamas terrorists into Gaza on Oct. 7, 2023.

Footage of the strike showed the bodies, several wearing protective gear with the charity’s logo, at a hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah. Those killed include three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen, and a Palestinian, according to hospital records.

Other footage of the strike’s aftermath showed a vehicle with the charity’s logo printed across its roof, making it identifiable from the air. The projectile had punched a large hole through the roof.

In the face of a growing humanitarian disaster in Gaza’s north, several countries worked to open a sea route, hoping it would allow more aid to enter. The United States and other countries have also airdropped aid, but humanitarian workers say such efforts alone are insufficient.
“The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon,” posted Mr. Andrés on X, formerly Twitter.

Israel is known for taking extra steps to reduce the chances of civilian casualties, such as notifying targets well in advance. It has also allowed humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza, though the government has expressed concerns about Hamas taking aid.

The charity said the team was traveling in a three-car convoy that included two armored vehicles, and its movements had been coordinated with the Israeli army.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the top military spokesman, said officials have been “reviewing the incident at the highest levels” and that an independent investigation will be launched.

Anera, a Washington-based aid group that has operated in the Palestinian territories for decades, said that in the wake of the strike, it was taking the “unprecedented” step of pausing its operations in Gaza, where it had been helping to provide around 150,000 meals daily.

“The escalating risks associated with aid delivery leave us with no choice but to halt operations until our staff regain confidence that they can do their work without undue risk,” it said in a statement.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, said the strike was “not an isolated incident,” noting that around 200 humanitarian workers have been killed since the war broke out in October.

“This is nearly three times the death toll recorded in any single conflict in a year,” he said.

The strike comes as U.S. and Israeli officials met virtually on April 1 to discuss Israel’s likely invasion of the Gazan city of Rafah.

Tensions have soared across the Middle East, and an apparent Israeli strike on Iran’s consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on April 1 has ratcheted them up even further. Iran and its allies have vowed to respond to the strike, which killed two Iranian generals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jackson Richman is a Washington correspondent for The Epoch Times. In addition to Washington politics, he covers the intersection of politics and sports/sports and culture. He previously was a writer at Mediaite and Washington correspondent at Jewish News Syndicate. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Examiner. He is an alum of George Washington University.