World

Israeli Strikes Kill 7 Aid Workers in Gaza


The group was trying to help ease widespread hunger in Gaza, where Palestinians, particularly in the north, have been fighting starvation and regularly converge on the relatively few aid trucks that enter the territory.

On Monday, workers unloaded food from the World Central Kitchen vessel, the Jennifer, at a hastily built jetty on the Mediterranean coast. They planned to unload 240 tons more on Tuesday, according to Theodoros Gotsis, a spokesman for the Cypriot foreign ministry.

Mr. Gotsis said that the Jennifer had instead left Gaza to sail back to Cyprus on Tuesday, with most of its cargo still on board. He added that several more tons of aid were waiting at warehouses in a Cypriot port, but that it was not clear if the aid would now be delivered to Gaza.

Aid groups have said that only a cease-fire and the opening of more border crossings from Israel would allow workers to deliver enough food and other essentials to Gazans without putting more lives at risk.

Among those killed in the strikes was Saif Abu Taha, a 26-year-old Gazan working as a driver and translator for World Central Kitchen. He and others workers were proud to have been delivering food to hungry people, his brother Shadi said.

“They were so excited, like they were going to a wedding,” the brother said.

Damian Sobol, an aid worker from the southeastern Polish city of Przemysl, was also killed, according to the city’s mayor, Wojciech Bakun.

Save the Children, which distributes food, water, medical supplies and toiletries in Gaza, urged the warring parties in Gaza to adhere to international laws that protect humanitarian workers. The group said a local staff member was killed in an Israeli airstrike in December.

“The news of the attack is horrific — it’s a nightmare come true for us,” said Soraya Ali, a spokeswoman for the group. “We know, unfortunately, that Gaza right now is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a humanitarian worker.”

Reporting was contributed by John Yoon, Patrick Kingsley, Gabby Sobelman, Lauren Leatherby, Nader Ibrahim, Cassandra Vinograd, Erica L. Green, Damien Cave, Aric Toler, Anushka Patil, Daniel Victor, Victoria Kim and Natasha Frost.

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