Home News ‘Seirous failure’: IDF’s call after Aussie killed in Gaza

‘Seirous failure’: IDF’s call after Aussie killed in Gaza

‘Seirous failure’: IDF’s call after Aussie killed in Gaza


Two Israeli officers have been dismissed following an investigation into the deaths of seven aid workers, including an Australian, who were conducting a humanitarian operation in Gaza with the World Central Kitchen when they were killed in a strike.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said the findings indicated the incident should not have happened.

“Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees,” the statement read.

“The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake stemming from a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the standard operating procedures.”

IDF chief of the general staff decided the brigade fire support commander, an officer with the rank of major, would be dismissed from his position.

The brigade chief of staff, an officer with the rank of colonel in reserve, will also be dismissed from his position.

In addition, the brigade commander and the 162nd division commander will be formally reprimanded.

Meanwhile, the IDF chief of staff has formally reprimanded the commander of the southern command for his overall responsibility for the incident.

Australian chef Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom was among seven aid workers killed on April 1 when three vehicles, marked with the branding of World Central Kitchen were struck by IDF drones while traversing Gaza.

“The investigation found that the forces identified a gunman on one of the aid trucks, following which they identified an additional gunman,” the IDF statement read.

“After the vehicles left the warehouse where the aid had been unloaded, one of the commanders mistakenly assumed that the gunmen were located inside the accompanying vehicles and that these were Hamas terrorists.

“The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being associated with WCK.

“Following a misidentification by the forces, the forces targeted the three WCK vehicles based on the misclassification of the event and misidentification of the vehicles as having Hamas operatives inside them, with the resulting strike leading to the deaths of seven innocent humanitarian aid workers.

“The strikes on the three vehicles were carried out in serious violation of the commands and IDF standard operating procedures.”

The IDF said it took the matter seriously.

“We express our deep sorrow for the loss and send our condolences to the families and the WCK organisation,” the statement read.

“The IDF will learn the lessons of the incident and will incorporate them into the IDF’s ongoing operations.”

Earlier, it was revealed Australian diplomats in Israel had been briefed by the country’s military personnel ahead of the statement being publicly released.

Following the attack, the Israeli government launched an investigation into the attack, which Israel Defence Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said had now been completed.

“The independent investigation has been already presented to the ambassadors of the relevant nations, and we will be presenting them to the World Central Kitchen I expect tomorrow morning, and then we’ll be bringing them to the public as well,” Lt Col Lerner said.

The IDF spokesperson apologised for the incident, remarking that it was a “very grave mistake”, which was due to a “misidentification” of the vehicle.

Following the airstrike, the charity insisted that it had notified the IDF of its operations, as it sought to redress the humanitarian crisis which has affected 1.7 million displaced residents inside the embattled enclave.

However, due to fears of a reprisal attack, the US based charity has since suspended operations in Gaza.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that the IDF was responsible for the attack.

“Unfortunately, in the last day, there was a tragic incident where our forces unintentionally struck innocent people in the Gaza Strip. It happens in war and we are thoroughly investigating it,” Mr Netanyahu said following the incident.

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese subsequently slammed Israel’s explanation for the attack, remarking that Mr Netanyahu’s comments were unacceptable.

“We need to have accountability for how it has occurred, and what is not good enough is the statements that have been made, including that this is just a product of war,” Mr Albanese told reporters at a news conference in Sydney.

“This is against humanitarian law – international humanitarian law makes it very clear that aid workers should be able to provide that aid and that assistance free of the threat of losing their life.”


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