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





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

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said they 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 among the charity’s security team and was said to be a former Royal Marine.

John Chapman was one of the World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in the Israeli air strike (World Central Kitchen/PA)
John Chapman was one of the World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in the Israeli air strike (World Central Kitchen/PA)

The father-of-two, from Dorset, also reportedly served in the Special Boat Service, the special forces unit of the Royal Navy.

In a statement released through the Foreign Office, Mr Chapman’s family said he “died trying to help people and was subject to an inhumane act”.

The statement added: “He was an incredible father, husband, son and brother.

“He was loved by many and will forever be a hero. He will be missed dearly”.

– James Henderson

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

James Henderson, known as Jim, was part of the relief team’s security detail (World Central Kitchen/PA)
James Henderson, known as Jim, was part of the relief team’s security detail (World Central Kitchen/PA)

According to his LinkedIn page, the 33-year-old 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 is mobile, offers flexibility and is willing to take on any further training necessary to offer the best service possible” and said he “takes the health and safety of others very seriously”.

He left the military in 2016 to pursue security jobs such as the one in Gaza, and 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 a military veteran.

In a statement to the BBC, his family described him as a “genuine gentleman”.

They said: “Alongside the other six individuals who tragically lost their lives, he will be remembered as a hero.

“James understood the dangers of venturing into Gaza, drawing from his experiences in the British armed forces, where he bravely served tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

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

Mr Kirby’s cousin, Adam McGuire, told Sky News: “Not only James but the six other individuals are like heroes to us. They went out there selflessly to help some of the most desperate people in the world.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Kirby was a former sniper marksman and rifleman in the Army.

James Kirby was an Army veteran who had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan (World Central Kitchen/PA)
James Kirby was an Army veteran who had served in Bosnia and Afghanistan (World Central Kitchen/PA)

The page reads: “An experienced, SIA-licensed (Security Industry Authority) close protection officer with a background in executive protection, hostile and covert surveillance, security management and maritime security.

“Former member of the British armed forces, fully qualified in all aspects of close protection, with experience working with high-net-worth individuals, business leaders and their families and staff, globally.

“Willing and able to work on international assignments, and free to travel as required.”

He also described himself as someone who “maintains a calm demeanour under extreme pressure, including life-threatening situations” and said he was “experienced in working in varied theatres across the globe, both on land and at sea, including hostile and austere locations”.

The Times said Mr Kirby was believed to be a former member of Britain’s special forces.

– 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.

Australian Zomi Frankcom had been working for World Central Kitchen for five years (Free Place Foundation’s Facebook/AP)
Australian Zomi Frankcom had been working for World Central Kitchen for five years (Free Place Foundation’s Facebook/AP)

– 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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