Chef Jose Andres says Israel is committing 'war against humanity' in exclusive 'This Week' interview

The World Central Kitchen founder spoke to "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

April 6, 2024, 9:24 PM

Chef José Andrés claimed Israel is committing a "war against humanity itself" during an exclusive sit-down interview with "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz, following the Israeli drone strike attack that killed seven of his World Central Kitchen workers.

The Israel Defense Forces said Friday that its airstrike in Gaza that killed the aid workers on April 1 came after Israeli forces said they misidentified a WCK worker in the convoy as a Hamas gunman. Israel has been waging war against Hamas in Gaza in the six months since terrorists from the group invaded Israel on Oct. 7, killing nearly 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and kidnapped about 250 others.

Watch the full interview with José Andrés on "This Week" Sunday morning on ABC.

In total, in Israel, at least 1,700 people have been killed and 8,700 others injured, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Gaza, more than 33,000 people have been killed and about 76,000 others injured, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health.

Andrés pushed back against the IDF's findings on the convoy strike, telling Raddatz, "Every time something happens, we cannot just be bringing Hamas into the equation."

"This is not anymore about the seven men and women of World Central Kitchen that perished on this unfortunate event. This is happening for way too long. It's been six months of targeting anything that seems moves," Andrés said.

"This doesn't seem a war against terror. This doesn't seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it's a war against humanity itself."

ABC News' Martha Raddatz interviews World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés.
ABC News

A convoy of three WCK vehicles was struck by the IDF the night of April 1 after leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse in central Gaza, where the aid workers had helped unload more than 100 tons of humanitarian aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route, according to WCK. The vehicles were spread out in different locations spanning about 1.5 miles, according to an ABC News analysis of footage from the scene and satellite imagery.

The IDF findings released on Friday said there were three strikes on the convoy. It also said WCK workers hit in the first vehicle were hit again while moving to another vehicle in the convoy. The IDF confirmed that the aid group had coordinated their movements correctly with them in advance, but conceded that Israeli officials failed to update its brigade on the coordinated humanitarian operation.

"The investigation's findings indicate that the incident should not have occurred. Those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees," the IDF said, calling the strike "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."

A Palestinian man rides a bicycle past a damaged vehicle where employees from the World Central Kitchen were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, Apr. 2, 2024.
Ahmed Zakot/Reuters

Asked by Raddatz if he was satisfied with the report's findings, Andrés thanked the IDF for conducting "such a quick investigation" though called for a more thorough, independent one.

"I will say something so complicated, the investigation should be much more deeper," he said. "And I would say that the perpetrator cannot be investigating himself."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday that U.S. officials are reviewing Israel's report "very carefully" and "will be discussing its conclusions with Israeli officials and with humanitarian organizations in the days to come."

Photos provided by World Central Kitchen shows Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, Lalzawmi Frankcom, Damian Sobal, Jacob Flickinger, John Chapman, James Henderson, and James Kirby, the seven aid workers who were killed in Gaza, April 2, 2024
World Central Kitchen/AP

Based on the investigation's findings, the IDF fired two officers, suspended two commanders and reprimanded three others for their role in the attack, according to military spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.

"This is a tragedy. It was a terrible chain of errors, and it should never have happened. The IDF takes full responsibility for this regrettable loss of life," Hagari told reporters on Friday.