Family of Bristol man killed in Gaza 'utterly heartbroken'

The family of a man killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza say they are "utterly heartbroken".

James Kirby, 47, from Bristol, was one of three British aid workers killed in the attack on Monday.

In total, seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers died. John Chapman, 57 and James Henderson, 33, were also from the UK.

Mr Kirby's family said he, alongside the other individuals, "will be remembered as a hero".

"James lost his life trying to save others, he will never know what a void he has left, our family will never be the same," they added.

The British nationals, all part of WCK's security team, were travelling with a convoy that had just unloaded more than 100 tonnes of much-needed food aid brought from overseas, according to the charity.

All three vehicles in the convoy were hit by an Israeli air strike while leaving a warehouse in Deir al-Balah, south of Gaza City.

An image showing John Chapman, James Kirby and James Henderson
John Chapman, James Henderson and James Kirby were among the seven World Central Kitchen workers killed in Monday's strike [Reuters/World Central Kitchen]

"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," explained his family.

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

'Never stop caring'

"A genuine gentleman, James was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone, even in the face of senseless violence," added his family, who also have links to Somerset.

"We are so incredibly proud of who James was and what he achieved.

"Never stop caring and trying to help people, love will eventually overcome hate."

As well as the three Britons, Australian national Lalzawmi Frankcom, Polish national Damian Sobol, Palestinian Saifeddin Issam Ayad Abutahas and US-Canadian citizen Jacob Flickinger, were also killed in the strike.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the deaths "appalled" him.

Israel said the strike was "unintended".


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