Israel punishes officers

Israel punished military officers involved in a strike that killed seven aid workers delivering food in the Gaza Strip.


World News

April 5, 2024 - 1:40 PM

United Nations staff members inspect the carcass of a car used by US-based aid group World Central Kitchen, that was hit by an Israeli strike the previous day in the central Gaza Strip on April 2, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. The international food aid charity said it was pausing its Gaza aid operations after seven of its staff were killed in a “targeted Israeli strike” as they unloaded desperately needed food aid delivered by sea from Cyprus. (Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images/TNS)

Amid widespread outrage over a strike that killed seven aid workers delivering food in the Gaza Strip, Israel punished five military officers on Friday and said it would take steps to increase the flow of humanitarian aid, including temporarily reopening a key border crossing into northern Gaza.

Israel’s military dismissed two officers and reprimanded three others for their roles in the drone strikes, saying they mishandled critical information and violated the army’s rules of engagement.

Israel also said it would reopen the Erez border crossing with Gaza’s hard-hit north, where the United Nations says much of the population is on the brink of starvation. Israel’s announcement came hours after U.S. President Joe Biden said future American support for the war in Gaza depends on Israel doing more to protect civilians and aid workers.

Despite their differences, the Biden administration maintained crucial military aid and diplomatic support for Israel’s six-month war against Hamas.

The top U.N. court has concluded there is a “plausible risk of genocide” in Gaza — a charge Israel strongly denies — and the U.N. Security Council has issued a legally binding demand for a cease-fire. On Friday, the U.N.’s top human rights body passed a non-binding resolution condemning Israel’s conduct of the war and calling for other countries to stop shipping weapons to it.

The Palestinian death toll has passed 33,000, with another 75,600 people wounded, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. 

The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tally, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

The war began Oct. 7 when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 people hostage.