He Wanted to Serve His Community in Gaza. He Paid With His Life.

Saifeddin Abutaha, an aid worker for World Central Kitchen, was on his way home to see his mother when an Israeli missile struck the car he was driving in a humanitarian convoy last week.

Mr. Abutaha, 25, doted on his parents, and he texted them frequently while out delivering aid across the Gaza Strip, which is on the brink of famine after six months of war. In his final hours, he had pivoted between delivering food and making family Ramadan plans, his brother, Abdul Raziq Abutaha, said in an interview.

But since his death on Apr. 1, their mother, Inshirah — who once daydreamed of seeing Saifeddin get married — has been unable to accept that he is gone.

“She still has not eaten anything since he died,” said Abdul Raziq, 33. He said that she keeps saying, “‘He will be back soon, maybe for Eid’” — the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. It begins on Wednesday. Saif will not be there.

The killing of seven World Central Kitchen employees in the Israeli attack on April 1 has drawn international outrage, especially from the countries from which six of them hailed: Britain, Poland, Australia, Canada and the United States.

Mr. Abutaha, a Palestinian from Gaza, also perished in the attack. His death highlighted the grim fact that most of the more than 200 aid workers who have been killed since Israel’s bombardment of Gaza began have been Palestinian, according to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He called last week for an independent investigation into each of their deaths, which have drawn less attention than the killing of foreign aid workers.

Back to top button