World Central Kitchen is resuming its operations in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war, the charity’s chief executive announced Sunday, nearly a month after seven of its aid workers were killed by Israeli airstrikes while they were on a mission to deliver food to desperate Palestinian civilians in the besieged territory.

Erin Gore said that, in recognition of how dire humanitarian conditions remain in Gaza, the organization is restarting its work there “with the same energy, dignity, and focus on feeding as many people as possible.”

“To date we have distributed more than 43 million meals and we are eager to deliver millions more,” Gore wrote. “Food is a universal right and our work in Gaza has been the most life-saving mission in our 14-year organizational history.”

Gore added that WCK has built a team of locals “to carry the torch forward” as she reiterated the organization’s demand for an independent probe into their aid workers’ killings.

“The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have apologized for the attack, calling it a ‘grave mistake’ and says they have changed their rules of operation,” Gore said. “While we have no concrete assurances, we continue to seek answers and advocate for change with the goal of better protecting WCK and all NGO workers serving selflessly in the worst humanitarian conditions. Our demand for an impartial and international investigation remains.”

In a statement announcing the killings of its workers, WCK said the convoy was attacked while traveling in a deconflicted zone after the team had unloaded over 100 tons of food aid to the Deir al-Balah warehouse on April 1. The news sparked fury within the U.S. with President Joe Biden saying he was “outraged and heartbroken.” WCK was founded by chef José Andrés, who also condemned the attack at the time.

Following an internal investigation, Israel’s military, four days after the incident, said the attack stemmed from “a serious failure due to a mistaken identification, errors in decision-making, and an attack contrary to the Standard Operating Procedures.”

In Sunday’s announcement, Gore said the charity faced a tough decision between indefinitely ceasing its operations in Gaza despite the lifesaving impact it could have on starving Palestinians or continuing to push forward despite the grave risk involved for its workers and civilians.

“These are the hardest conversations and we have considered all perspectives when deliberating,” Gore wrote. “Ultimately, we decided that we must keep feeding, continuing our mission of showing up to provide food to people during the toughest of times.”

The charity said it is prepared to serve up to 8 million meals with 276 trucks ready to enter the territory through the Rafah crossing as they also explore doing more food deliveries through the Ashdod Port. WCK is also building a third high-production kitchen in southern Gaza, which will be named after one of the workers killed in Israel’s attack, in addition to the 68 community kitchens it operates in the area.

The war, which has entered its seventh month, has so far killed over 34,488 Palestinians, according to local officials.

An internal State Department memo, obtained by Reuters, found Israel has been breaching a U.S. directive by blocking U.S. aid from entering Gaza as Israeli officials are reportedly concerned that the International Criminal Court could be issuing arrest warrants for some of its leaders.

Meanwhile, a temporary cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas remains far off. According to The Associated Press, Hamas is refusing to enter into a deal to hand back hostages still in its custody following the Oct. 7 attack, in which the militant group killed 1,200 Israelis and took over 250 hostages, unless Israel agrees to put an end to the ongoing conflict.


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