Some of the international aid workers for World Central Kitchen killed in Israeli strike

Some of the international aid workers for World Central Kitchen killed in Israeli strike

(Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Beyond Any Reasonable Circumstances

Honestly, we were going to mark the date with a spoof report - light in the darkness! - of Israel razing multiple pavilions at the upcoming Venice Art Biennale because they mistook talk of a new hummus place for threats of a new Hamas attack. But Gaza's latest news is too gutting: Hundreds of burned, tied, crushed bodies left at al-Shifa hospital, and seven World Central Kitchen workers murdered delivering food to starving people. WTF. Sorry, but no room for light in this savage "genocidal machine."

Progressive art forum Hyperallergic brought a bleak April Fool's Day to bear on the horrors: Nearly 33,000 dead, most women and children, over 75,000 wounded, many thousands still buried, starvation spreading. In Pavilions Flattened at the Venice Biennale, they reported that international artists and curators woke to find their exhibits leveled by a paranoid Israel that misinterpreted buzz about a new hummus joint as word of a Hamas action; they noted the U.S. quickly offered to pay for rebuilding while congratulating Israeli authorities for "dealing with the threat posed by the local hummus stand, which (they) later sanctioned for its allegorical ties to terrorism as outlined in a haiku provided to them by the Israeli military." Another piece reported that Germany's National Gallery has removed all artwork depicting rivers or seas "to prevent creating the conditions for the probability of the possibility of inadvertently alluding to the chant ‘From the River to Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.'”

Still, it couldn't counter grim real news in the wake of Israel's retreat from al-Shifa medical complex after a brutal two-week assault in which they claimed to have killed 200 "terrorists" and arrested over 500 people "associated with terrorist organizations." Refuting them, aid workers said they executed scores of civilians, including over a dozen children, killed at least 21 patients, and left dozens critically wounded. A journalist reported "hundreds of bodies" outside, many burned, tied up, or crushed by a bulldozer; many more are believed buried under the charred rubble of what was Gaza's largest hospital. Dr Ghassan Abu-Sittah, a volunteer surgeon, charged Shifa's destruction is "a critical component of Israel's plan to genocidally make sure Gaza becomes an uninhabitable place"; he also mourned the murder of a friend and brilliant young surgeon, one of 345 doctors, nurses or paramedics killed by Israel: "Remember their names and remember their stories."

The same goes for seven aid workers, updated from original reports of five, killed by Israel while bringing food to starving people. We repeat: Bringing food to starving people. They were a Polish, Australian, dual US/Canadian worker, three British nationals and a Palestinian translator; all were killed. Volunteers for chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen, they were in a three-car, IDF-approved convoy hit in succession - by three drone strikes, one after the other, as they ran from car to car; they'd just left a warehouse in Deir al-Bala where they unloaded some of the 400 tons of food delivered hours earlier by a ship from Cyprus at WCK's nearby newly built jetty. The attack was one of many strikes that have killed multiple aid workers and at least 400 hungry people seeking the food they carried. As yet, only the Australian has been named as "effervescent...shining light of comfort" Zomi Frankcom. Here she is, days before with "Chef Oli," happily showing off WCK's Deir al-Balah kitchen.

After the IDF strike, the bodies of five dead were brought to a makeshift morgue at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital. A Palestinian Red Crescent paramedic who helped transport them said the bodies were not fully blown apart due to the WCK protective gear they wore; hospital staff displayed the bloodied foreign passports of three. Warning: Here is graphic video of the scene. On the WCK site, Andrés' wrote he was "heartbroken" by the loss of "our sisters and brothers," "angels" he'd worked with around the world: "Humanitarian aid workers and civilians should NEVER be a target. EVER...They are not faceless, they are not nameless." He added Israel must "stop this indiscriminate killing (and) stop using food as a weapon. No more innocent lives lost." WCK has paused deliveries, and Gazan media denounced "another Israeli massacre." Australian P.M. Anthony Albanese called the death of Frankcom "completely unacceptable" in what he deemed "beyond any reasonable circumstances."

An Israeli spokesman said the IDF will conduct "a thorough review (of) this tragic incident" and it makes "extensive efforts to enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid." Israel has said many things. On the same day last week, the U. N. both passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire and released a draft report, Anatomy of a Genocide, finding "reasonable grounds to believe" Israel is committing genocide in Gaza with "an intent to physically destroy Palestinians as a group...transforming everything and everyone into either a target or collateral damage, hence killable or destroyable." Israel said the report was "an obscene inversion of reality." They also said, as at least 27 Gazan children die of starvation and hundreds of thousands more face it, they will no longer allow UNRWA food convoys into northern Gaza. Now they're murdering others bearing food. You wanna talk obscene? By any "reasonable circumstances" - a shard of humanity, probity, justness, mercy - Israel is it.

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.