Israel reportedly attacked aid workers despite knowing their locations

Israeli forces have carried out at least eight attacks on aid convoys and premises in Gaza since October, despite aid agencies notifying Israeli authorities of their locations in advance, according to a new report.

Human Rights Watch said in a report on Tuesday that at least 15 people, including two children, were killed and at least 16 others were injured in the eight Israeli strikes.

These included attacks on World Central Kitchen, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (Unrwa), Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP), the International Rescue Committee and the American Near East Refugee Aid Organization.

In an Israeli airstrike on MAP and the International Rescue Committee on January 18, UN investigators who visited the attack concluded that it was likely carried out with US-made munitions, parts of which were supplied by the United Kingdom. Three people were injured in the attack.

On April 1, an Israeli attack on the World Central Kitchen convoy killed six international aid workers and their Palestinian driver, for which Israel apologized and called it a “mistake.”

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As with all eight attacks documented by Human Rights Watch, World Central Kitchen had provided Israeli authorities with GPS coordinates of its staff in advance, but was attacked nonetheless.

“Israel’s murder of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers was shocking and should never have happened under international law,” said Belkis Wille of Human Rights Watch. “Israel’s allies must recognize that these attacks that have killed aid workers have happened again and again and they must stop.”

“You can’t rely on conflict resolution”

According to the United Nations, 254 of its aid workers have been killed since the war on Gaza began on October 7. At least 169 Unrwa facilities were affected by the Israeli war in 368 separate incidents.

Staff at 11 humanitarian groups and agencies told Human Rights Watch that Israeli attacks forced them to either suspend their activities, reduce their staff, or otherwise limit their work.

“I cannot risk sending more personnel to Gaza because I cannot rely on conflict resolution as a way to protect them,” said a senior official at an organization that was attacked by Israeli forces.

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International law prohibits indiscriminate attacks on civilian objects, such as aid convoys, that are likely to cause harm to the civilian population disproportionate to any military advantage.

In the genocide case against Israel, the International Court of Justice issued a preliminary ruling in January ordering the country to allow urgent humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

But since the ruling, Israel has been found to be defying the order by directly bombing aid convoys and hindering aid deliveries through delays and denials of entry.

“On the one hand, Israel is blocking access to critical life-saving humanitarian supplies and, on the other hand, it is attacking convoys that deliver some of the small amount they allow,” Wille said. “Israeli forces should immediately stop their attacks on aid organizations and responsibility should be taken for these crimes.”

Israeli civilians also blocked aid from entering the enclave by bringing aid trucks to a standstill, holding sit-ins, laying large rocks and even directly attacking vehicles.