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FACTBOX - What we know so far about the seven aid workers killed in Gaza by Israel

April 3, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Residents inspect the damaged vehicle damaged vehicle carrying Western employees after Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on April 02, 2024 [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli airstrike on an aid convoy in Gaza on Monday killed seven workers from the Charity, World Central Kitchen, including citizens of Australia, Britain and Poland.

Israel said it mistakenly killed the air workers and promised a full investigation. Here is what we know about those killed.

Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha – Palestinian 

25-year-old Palestinian World Central Kitchen (WCK) staff member, Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha [@WCKitchen/X]

The 25-year-old Palestinian was buried in a ceremony attended by hundreds in his hometown of Rafah on Tuesday, according to BBC News.

“He was happy to work with an organisation that provides humanitarian aid to the displaced, our hearts are broken by your death, Saif,” the BBC reported his close friend, Hassan, saying.

“You have hurt us with your passing, and we will not forget you.”

Lalzawmi ‘Zomi’ Frankcom – Australian

Known to her friends as “Zomi”, the 43-year-old Lalzawmi Frankcom joined World Central Kitchen after an earlier career at the Commonwealth Bank.

Social media posts show her in Pakistan and Bangladesh during floods in 2022 and on a motorbike convoy delivering aid into the Haitian highlands a year earlier.

“For her it was the perfect job; she got to serve hot meals to people who were having maybe the lowest point of their lives,” her friend, Bryan Weaver, told Reuters.

“She made you feel like you were the only person in the room.

In a statement, her family said Zomi left behind a legacy of compassion, bravery and love.

WATCH: Israeli official response regarding whether Israel deliberately targeted WCK

Damian Sobol – Polish 

Sobol, a relief worker, lived in the city of Przemysl, in south-eastern Poland, according to the city’s Mayor, Wojciech Bakun.

35-year-old Palestinian World Central Kitchen (WCK) staff member, Damian Sobol [@WCKitchen/X]

“There are no words to describe the feelings of people who knew this amazing young man right now,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Sobol, aged 35, was pictured in videos shot months before his death, itemising aid supplies bound for Gaza, including water systems, kitchen equipment and meals.

“(It is) everything (needed) to create a kitchen and feed people where needed,” he said.

James Kirby, John Chapman, James Henderson – British 

Kirby, Chapman and Henderson were all part of WCK’s security team, according to the NGO.

British media reported that all three were former soldiers in the British military, and worked as private security contractors for UK-based firm, Solace Global.

The 47-year-old Kirby was an army veteran and served tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan, according to a statement released by his family via the BBC, which said they were “utterly heartbroken” and that Kirby would be remembered as a hero.

“Despite the risks, his compassionate nature drove him to offer assistance to those in dire need,” the statement said.

57-year-old British World Central Kitchen (WCK) staff member, John Chapman [@WCKitchen/X]

“James lost his life trying to save others; he will never know what a void he has left, our family will never be the same.”

Former Special Forces commando, Chapman, a 57-year-old married father-of-two, had only been in Gaza for a few weeks before he was killed, according to the Sun newspaper.

Henderson, aged 33, served for six years in the Royal Marines, an elite fighting force of the British Navy, according to his LinkedIn page.

Solace Global did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jacob Flickinger – American and Canadian 

The 33-year old dual citizen of the United States and Canada was part of the relief team killed on Monday.

Those responsible for his and his colleague’s deaths must be held accountable, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, said in a social media post that condemned the strikes.

WATCH: UNICEF’s James Elder says Israel had exact coordinates of WCK convoy

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.