Press Release

Anera Pauses Gaza Operations Amid Rising Threats and Attack on WCK

April 2, 2024 | Washington, DC — Following the targeted Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid convoy yesterday, resulting in the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers, Anera is taking the unprecedented step of pausing its humanitarian operations in Gaza.

The killing of WCK humanitarians, occurring less than a month after the still-unexplained killing of Anera staff member Mousa Shawwa, alongside the loss of numerous other aid workers and their families, has led our team to conclude that delivering aid safely is no longer feasible. For the safety of our staff and their families, we are suspending Anera’s work in Gaza.

Since the onset of the war on October 7, Anera’s Gaza team has provided an average of 150,000 meals daily (in collaboration with WCK), millions of medical treatments, and thousands of other critical emergency aid items. While we understand the severe consequences this suspension will have on the Palestinian population, the escalating risks associated with aid delivery leave us with no choice but to halt operations until our staff regain confidence that they can do their work without undue risk.

In nearly six months of conflict, this marks the first instance where our Palestinian staff in Gaza, enduring continuously hazardous conditions, have deemed the risk to their safety, and that of their families, intolerable. Anera’s longstanding presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, spanning over 55 years and enduring through multiple conflicts, underscores the gravity of this decision. The unprecedented scale of the current conflict and the disregard for international law necessitate this historic pause in our operations.

The attack on the seven WCK aid workers constitutes a clear violation of the International Court of Justice’s provisions, emphasizing that humanitarian workers and civilians must never be targeted. The ongoing targeting of humanitarian workers and the lack of adequate safety measures demand thorough investigation and immediate action. Israel bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the unhindered delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance and basic services to those in need.

In accordance with international law and principles of humanity, parties with effective control over a population are obligated to provide protection, ensuring the provision of essential supplies for civilian survival. Even if specific obligations under occupation laws do not apply, all parties must uphold the minimum duties outlined in international humanitarian law. Israel, as the occupying authority in Gaza, holds ultimate responsibility for obstructing the delivery of essential supplies and failing to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers.

We reiterate our demand for adequate security for humanitarian and health workers, journalists, and all civilians, and call for an immediate and enduring ceasefire.


For more information:

Steven Fake
Media Relations Officer
[email protected]

About Anera
Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.