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Biden called chef José Andrés to offer condolences after strike killed seven aid workers

President Biden on Tuesday called chef José Andrés to offer his condolences after an Israeli strike killed seven aid workers from his charity group World Central Kitchen, in Gaza.

“He called chef José Andrés to express that he’s heartbroken by this news of the airstrike that killed seven aid workers and to express and share his deepest condolences,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

She said that Biden conveyed he is grieving their deaths. John Kirby, White House national security communications adviser, confirmed that a dual national American citizen was among the seven killed and said the State Department has conducted initial outreach to that aid worker’s family.

“The president felt it was important to recognize the tremendous contribution World Central Kitchen has made to the people in Gaza and people around the world,” Jean-Pierre said. “The president conveyed he will make clear to Israel that humanitarian aid workers must be protected.”

The charity group, which has suspended operations in Gaza following deaths, said a team was traveling in an armored convoy and had coordinated with Israel about movements before the strike.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took responsibility for the strike earlier on Tuesday and said that the Israelis are “conducting a thorough inquiry.”

“This happens in war,” he said in a statement.

Kirby told reporters that World Central Kitchen has been “relentless” in providing aid during the war.

“We were outraged,” Kirby said about hearing the news, noting that more than 200 aid workers have been killed so far in the conflict.

“We expect a broader investigation to be conducted and to be done so in a swift and comprehensive matter. We hope that those findings will be made public and that there is appropriate accountability held,” he said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken also offered his condolences in a press conference earlier Tuesday, and said that World Central Kitchen staff have “been doing extraordinary, brave work, day in, day out” in Gaza.

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