7 Aid Workers Killed in Gaza Were Known for a Passion for Helping Others

To those who knew them, the World Central Kitchen workers who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Monday were described as devoted humanitarians who would do anything they could to help those in need.

Six of them came from around the world to help deliver and distribute food throughout the enclave, joining the dozens of Gazans already dedicated to relief work. One was a local Palestinian who was excited about volunteering to help others. They had just left a food warehouse in Deir al Balah, a city in central Gaza, when an Israeli airstrike hit their convoy, despite the World Central Kitchen coordinating with the Israeli military. All seven of them were killed.

They are the latest casualties in the growing toll of aid workers killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, and they are among more than a dozen workers who have been killed while doing their jobs.

Gaza has been the deadliest place for aid workers since the Oct. 7 attacks. According to the Aid Worker Security Database, a compilation of data on attacks funded by the United States Agency for International Development, 203 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since the war started. All were Palestinian, except for six of the World Central Kitchen workers most recently killed, who were citizens of Australia, the United States, Canada, Poland and Britain. As of Monday, 176 workers from UNRWA, the U.N. agency dedicated to Palestinians, have been killed, according to the group.

After Oct. 7, 161 aid workers were killed in Gaza in the last weeks of 2023. That total is larger than all aid worker deaths worldwide in every year since 1997, when the aid worker database started collecting figures.

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