25 Apr 2024 13:52

Employee of Belgian development agency Enabel in Gaza killed in bombardment

It is with deep sorrow and horror that we learn of the death of our colleague Abdallah Nabhan (33) and his 7-year-old son Jamal last night after an Israeli airstrike in the eastern part of the city of Rafah. Abdallah's wife is in critical condition in hospital, fighting for her life. The couple's two other children (aged 5 years and 7 months) sustained minor injuries. Abdullah's 65-year-old father, his 35-year-old brother and his six-year-old niece also lost their lives.

The house where Abdallah's family was located housed about 25 people, including residents and displaced people who sought refuge there. The attack last night took the lives of at least seven people and many others were injured.

Abdallah Nabhan was a very dedicated and valued colleague. He joined Enabel in April 2020 as Business Development Officer in a European project assisting small businesses in the Gaza Strip to produce in an environmentally friendly way, linking up with a Belgian Development Cooperation project aimed at helping young people find jobs.

Like all other Enabel employees in Gaza, Abdallah was on the list of people eligible to leave Gaza, which was delivered to Israeli authorities months ago. Unfortunately, Abdullah died before he and his family were granted permission to leave Gaza safely. There are currently seven Enabel staff still in Gaza.

Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez and Enabel condemn in the strongest terms this attack on innocent civilians and call for the remaining colleagues still in Gaza to be given immediate permission to leave.

Minister Caroline Gennez: "What we feared for a long time has now become a reality. This is horrible news. I would like to express my deepest condolences to Adballah's family and friends, to his son Jamal, his papa, his brother and his niece, and to all our Enabel staff. Our hearts are once again broken today. Abdallah was a father, a husband, a son, a human being. His story and that of his family is just one of tens of thousands. When will it finally be enough? After six months of war and destruction in Gaza, we already seem to be getting used to it, but the fact remains that the indiscriminate bombing of civilian infrastructure and innocent civilians goes against every international, humanitarian and law of war. The Israeli government bears a crushing responsibility here."

Enabel CEO Jean Van Wetter: "I am deeply touched by the death of our colleague Abdallah and his son Jamal, and I am outraged and shocked by the ongoing attacks. This is yet another flagrant violation by Israel of international humanitarian law. As the director of a Belgian agency and a former humanitarian worker, I cannot accept that this has continued with impunity for so long. It is tragic that innocent civilians are victims of this conflict. We must do everything we can to stop the violence."