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Gaza Aid Groups Fear for Safety After Strike on World Central Kitchen

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Aid groups in Gaza said on Tuesday that they were more concerned than ever about the safety of their staff members there after seven World Central Kitchen workers were killed in an airstrike, saying that the deaths underscored the growing challenges of meeting Palestinians’ basic needs.

Humanitarian workers have been killed throughout the war in Gaza. Since the war started, 176 workers for UNRWA, the United Nations body that provides aid to Palestinians, have been killed, including in the line of duty, said Juliette Touma, the agency’s director of communications. Several other aid groups say their staff members have been killed in airstrikes.

But the latest deaths have raised new alarms. World Central Kitchen paused its operations there on Tuesday, saying it had coordinated the movements of the convoy that was struck with the Israeli military. The military said it was investigating the episode.

As they assessed their future plans, aid groups urged the Israeli authorities to adhere to the international laws that protect humanitarian workers.

“Everybody feels endangered now,” said Michael Capponi, the founder of Global Empowerment Mission, a nonprofit aid group distributing tents, sleeping bags, medical equipment and food to Palestinians in Gaza.

Mr. Capponi said he was reconsidering his plans to travel to Gaza next week. Some staff members, who had been communicating daily with the World Central Kitchen workers who died, “basically want to pack up and go home now,” he said, though there were no firm plans for them to leave.

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