Middle East latest: Israel admits ‘mistake’ – as tributes paid around the world for ‘hero’ aid workers killed in strike | WorldNews

Middle East latest: Israel admits ‘mistake’ – as tributes paid around the world for ‘hero’ aid workers killed in strike | WorldNews
Middle East latest: Israel admits ‘mistake’ – as tributes paid around the world for ‘hero’ aid workers killed in strike | WorldNews

The aid workers killed in yesterday’s Israeli strike were three Britons, a Pole, an Australian, a Canadian-US dual national and a Palestinian.

The three Britons – John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby – were military veterans providing security for the World Central Kitchen aid mission.

Mr Chapman and Mr Kirby were former Royal Marines and Mr Henderson was an army veteran.

They worked as private security contractors for UK-based firm Solace Global.

Mr Chapman, 57, was a married father of two who had only been in Gaza a few weeks, The Sun reported. There were no further details on Mr Kirby or Mr Henderson.

The families and friends of some of the other victims have been speaking to various news outlets around the world. Here is some of what they have said.

Lalzawmi “Zomi” Frankcom, 43, was the Australian killed in the strike.

She was born in Melbourne and worked for eight years at an Australian bank before moving into aid work with World Central Kitchen five years ago.

Her social media showed visits to help people in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Romania and Haiti.

One of her World Central Kitchen colleagues, Dora Weekly, remembered her being invited to walk a Hollywood red carpet for a documentary about the charity that had been nominated for an Emmy.

“I remember getting a picture of her in a dress, saying: ‘Hold on to this forever’,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“‘Because usually I’m in sweats and runners, and I’m in Pakistan or Afghanistan’ or, you know, she could be anywhere, and never with her hair done or makeup done.

“She worked all hours, she gave everything, and she believed in helping people who were less fortunate.”

Damian Sobol was the 36-year-old Pole who died.

He had studied hospitality in the Polish city of Przemysl and had been on aid missions in Ukraine, Morocco, Turkey and – for the past six months – Gaza.

Marta Wilczynska, of the Free Place Foundation, which cooperates with World Central Kitchen, described him as a “really extraordinary guy”.

Ms Wilczynska with Mr Sobol on the Polish side of the Ukrainian border just after Russia launched its invasion in February 2022.

She said he spoke English well, was a translator and a skilled manager who could organize work in any conditions.

“Always smiling, always so helpful, he loved this job. I felt I had a brother in him,” she added.

Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutaha, 27, was Palestinian and had worked for World Central Kitchen as a driver and translator since the beginning of the year, relatives said.

He had been a successful businessman who had conducted trades with Ukraine, Egypt, China and others, his brother Abdul Razzaq Abu Taha said.

His work made him known on the Israeli side, which helped in coordination and approval to assist the World Central Kitchen team in unloading the ship.

Mr Abu Taha had hoped to get married and his mother was looking for a wife for him, his brother said, adding: “He was supposed to get married if the war didn’t happen.”

Abdul said he had received a final call from Saifeddin just after the aid crew had unloaded their food in Gaza, telling him they had finished the job and he was heading home.

After the strike, Abdul had tried to call his brother but a stranger had picked up the phone, saying: “I found this phone about 200 meters away from the car. All of the people inside are killed.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Middle East latest Israel admits mistake tributes paid world hero aid workers killed strike WorldNews


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