The World Health Organization chief has confirmed one of its employees was killed in Gaza alongside her six-month-old baby, husband, and her two brothers.
The staff member, Dima Alhaj, 29, was killed in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territory amid the ongoing war.
The WHO announced in a press statement on Tuesday night that Alhaj was killed when her parents’ house in southern Gaza, where she had evacuated from Gaza City, was bombed.
She was killed alongside her husband, their six-month-old baby boy, and her two brothers.
Reportedly, over 50 family and community members sheltering in the same house also died, according to WHO.
Alhaj worked as a patient administrator at the Limb Reconstruction Centre, a critical part of the WHO Trauma and Emergency Team.
She had a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Earth Sciences from the Islamic University of Gaza and continued to study and work on environmental issues and health.
She was a master’s student at Glasgow University, Scotland, UK, as part of the Erasmus exchange program from 2018-2019.
The WHO representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, Dr Rik Peeperkorn, said ‘She was a wonderful person with a radiant smile, cheerful, positive, respectful. She was a true team player.
‘Her work was crucial, and she had been requested to take on even more responsibilities to support the Gaza suboffice and team.
‘This is such a painful loss for all of us. We share our deepest condolences with her mother and father (a long-serving medical specialist in Gaza), her family, and her many friends.
WHO makes plea
‘The death of Dima and her family is another example of the senseless loss in this conflict. Civilians have died in their homes, at their workplaces, while evacuating, while sheltering in schools, while being cared for in hospitals.
‘We plead again with all those who hold in their hands the power to end this conflict to do so.
‘All of the WHO stands alongside Dima’s family and colleagues in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, and across the organization to mourn her loss.’