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03 April 2024

Who were the aid workers killed in the Israeli air strike?

03 April 2024

Seven aid workers were killed in an Israeli air strike while delivering food to besieged Palestinians with the charity World Central Kitchen.

Three British nationals, an Australian, a Polish national, an American-Canadian dual citizen and a Palestinian died after the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse on Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the aid workers were killed by an “unintended strike” by Israeli forces.

Here is what is known about the victims:

– John Chapman

The 57-year-old from the UK was named among the victims by World Central Kitchen.

They said he was among the charity’s security team.

The Times reports Mr Chapman was a former Royal Marine and father-of-two from Dorset. According to The Sun, he also served in the Special Boat Service, the special forces unit of the Royal Navy.

– James Henderson

James “Jim” Henderson, 33, was from the UK and formed part of the relief team’s security detail, the World Central Kitchen said.

According to his LinkedIn page, he was a former roofer from Cornwall who served for six years in the Royal Marines.

He described himself as a “highly disciplined, courteous and proactive individual” who “takes the health and safety of others very seriously”.

“A highly disciplined, courteous and proactive individual who is mobile, offers flexibility and is willing to take on any further training necessary to offer the best service possible,” the page reads.

He left the military in 2016 to pursue security jobs such as the one in Gaza. He wrote that his “true vocation lies in security” in a “civilian position”.

He was due to leave Gaza on Monday, the Times reported.

– James Kirby

The third British national among the victims, the 47-year-old also worked in the charity’s security team and was said to be a military veteran.

The Times said Kirby was also believed to be a former member of Britain’s special forces, while the Telegraph reported he was a former Army rifleman and sniper marksman.

– Saifeddin Issam Abu Taha

Saif Issam Abu Taha, 27, was identified by relatives and hospital workers as the Palestinian aid worker who was killed.

His brother Ahmed Abu Taha said he had worked for World Central Kitchen as a driver since the start of the year.

– Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom

The 43-year-old had worked for Washington-based World Central Kitchen for the last five years, which took her to the US, Thailand and her native Australia.

She was born in Melbourne and earned a degree from the Swinburne University of Technology. She worked for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for eight years.

Ms Frankcom’s social media highlighted visits to help those in need in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Romania and Haiti.

In a statement, Ms Frankcom’s family described her as an “outstanding human being” who was “killed doing the work she loves delivering food to the people of Gaza”.

– Damian Sobol

The 36-year-old was from the south-eastern Polish city of Przemysl where he was studying hospitality.

Mr Sobol had been on aid missions in Ukraine, Morocco, Turkey and, for the past six months, Gaza.

– Jacob Flickinger

A dual US-Canadian national, the 33-year-old was a member of the relief team, according to World Central Kitchen.

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