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World Central Kitchen releases the names of employees killed in Gaza

World Central Kitchen (WCK), the non-profit organization that has delivered food to civilians in Gaza, released the names of its seven employees who were killed by Israeli airstrikes Monday.

“These are the heroes of WCK. These 7 beautiful souls were killed by the IDF in a strike as they were returning from a full day’s mission,” Erin Gore, the organization’s CEO said in a statement. “Their smiles, laughter, and voices are forever embedded in our memories.”

Saifeddin Issam Aydan Abutaha, 25, of Palestine; Lalzawami Frankcom, 43, of Austrailia; Damian Soból, 35, of Poland; Jacob Flickinger, 33, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada; John Chapman, 57, of the U.K.; James Henderson, 33, of the U.K.; James Kirby, 47, U.K., were the employees who died.

The organization said Monday that Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed the seven aid workers. Abutaha, Frankcom, Soból and Flickinger were on the WCK relief team. Chapman, Henderson and Kirby were on the WCK security team.

The workers were leaving a warehouse in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza and driving in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored cars when the strike hit, the organization said.

WCK, founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, has been working in Gaza to supply the more than 1 million people food. The employees had delivered more than 100 tons of food to the warehouse shortly before the incident.

In a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister said it was a “tragic event” and an “unintended strike” but said things like this happen in war.

Andrés called for the Israeli government to stop its “indiscriminate killing” and said “no more innocent lives” should be lost. On March 12, Andrés and WCK announced the first ship carrying 200 tons of food departed for Gaza, followed by another with even more food. Friends and relatives mourned their losses. Some of the employees killed in the strike had traveled the world participating in aid efforts following wars and natural disasters, The Associated Press reported.

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