Who were the seven World Central Kitchen workers killed in the Israeli attack on Gaza?

One of the first images of the Israeli attack on the World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy in Gaza was three bloodied passports: one British, one Polish and one Australian. They are seven NGO workers of three nationalities who were killed by rockets fired by the Israeli army. The deceased – three British nationals, an Australian, a Pole, a Palestinian and a dual citizen of the US and Canada – were from four different continents and aged between 25 and 57. Their identities were confirmed by WCK, who honored them this Wednesday on the cover of their official website. The team participated in the aid landing operations that WCK managed to bring to Gaza in the second joint naval mission with the Spanish NGO Open Arms.

The youngest of the team in the attacked convoy was a Palestinian Saifedin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 25 years old. Hundreds of people attended his funeral on Tuesday in Rafah, his town, which has become the last refuge for Gazans displaced from the rest of the Strip. “I was happy to work with an organization that provides humanitarian aid to displaced people. “Our hearts are broken by your death, Saif,” his friend Hasan told the BBC through tears. “You hurt us with your death and we will not forget you,” he added.

The first victim, whose identity was confirmed on Tuesday, was Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, a 43-year-old Australian citizen. In videos posted on social media, he can be seen enthusiastically commenting on his work in one of the 60 kitchens that the organization founded by chef Jose Andres has on the Strip. “We are deeply saddened by the news that our brave and beloved Zem has been killed while doing what he loved, delivering food to the people of Gaza,” Francom’s family said in a statement. “He will leave a legacy of compassion, courage and love for all around him.” A former employee of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s largest bank, he joined WCK five years ago.

The British government acknowledged on Tuesday that three British nationals were among the dead. is approx James “Jim” Henderson33 years old, James Kirby47 and John Chapman, 57. All three were ex-servicemen—Chapman and Kirby in the Marine Corps and Henderson in the Army—and worked to provide security for the NGO’s operations. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Henderson, originally from Cornwall, worked in a number of security jobs before volunteering at WCK after leaving the army in 2016.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night and demanded a full investigation into the incident.

Poland also asked Israel for an explanation, condemning the lack of protection for civilians, including aid workers, after learning that one of the victims was a Polish national. is approx Damian Sobol, 35 years old and originally from Przemyśl, a Polish town bordering Ukraine, which in 2022 became the gateway to Europe for thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war following Russia’s invasion of the country. Sobol began working with the world’s central kitchen teams there. The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza collects a memory that Maciej Wolanski, the head of the culture and promotion department of the City Council, makes about him: “I have known Dimian for a long time. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, he has devoted himself to humanitarian aid. He worked at World Central Kitchen, where he was a coordinator. Two weeks ago, when I celebrated my 36th birthday, he called me at exactly 7:49 and congratulated me. We talked for a long time. Our connection was disconnected three times. “He told me that he was in the Gaza Strip, that it was very difficult and that the enormity of the tragedy is indescribable.”

He was the last victim Jacob Flickinger, 33 years old and a dual citizen of the USA and Canada. Both the United States and Canada have called for a thorough investigation into what happened. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said she was “appalled” by the attack, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the workers were “heroes” who were “just trying to help other people”.

“This is not an isolated incident. As of March 20, at least 196 humanitarian workers have been killed in the occupied Palestinian territory since October 2023,” he said in a statement. The UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Jamie McGoldrick, stressed on Tuesday that there was an attack. Not an “isolated incident” and that as of March 20, at least 196 aid workers had died in the Strip, a figure nearly three times higher than any other conflict in the year.

The bodies of six foreign aid workers of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) NGO killed in an Israeli attack will be taken from the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing this Wednesday, as confirmed by EFE director Marwan al-Hams. Abu Youssef Al-Najjar Hospital, where they were taken.

Source: El Diario

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