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Coronado man mourns aid workers, friends killed in Gaza missile strike

Coronado man mourns aid workers, friends killed in Gaza missile strike
Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 21:11:14-04

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) - A Coronado man is mourning the deaths of two close friends and fellow aid workers, killed in a missile strike in Gaza.
“It's devastating. It’s really a very sad day,” said Miguel Abed.

For Abed, images of the aftermath of the missile strike are hard to look at.

Seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen killed in central Gaza when their 3-vehicle caravan was struck by an Israeli Defense Forces missile, after the group had unloaded aid from a maritime shipment.

“Complete sadness and sorrow,” said Abed.

Two years ago, ABC 10News spoke to Abed, after two months of volunteering with World Central Kitchen on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

A classically trained chef who has worked in France, he cooked, and helped set up a kitchen and deliver food. There, he became close with another volunteer, Damian Sobol, who was working in operations. According to Polish officials, Sobol was among the workers killed in the attack.

“He was brave, selfless, giving and positive. Positivity is important as the suffering is difficult to see,” said Abed.

Then, in November, Abed volunteered for a month in Acapulco after Hurricane Otis. There, he also became fast friends with a different volunteer, who was working in field operations.

“A truly incredible human being, the drive that he had,” said Abed.

Abed says he's learned his friend, Jacob Flinkinger, a dual Canadian-US citizen, was also among those killed. Abed calls the death of both men, an incredible loss.

“It really hurts the world to see people like that, taken away who are so active in helping so many people in these horrible situations,” said Abed.

Because of the deaths, World Central Kitchen has paused all operations in Gaza. Abed says it's a devastating blow.

“It’s a domino effect of people being affected. People are not going to get the crucial, life saving help that World Central Kitchen is providing,” said Abed.

Several weeks ago, Abed says he tried to sign up to volunteer in Gaza, but was told they weren't taking any more volunteers.

“Likely some of the same issues. They were dealing with bombings and other issues,” said Abed.

If the nonprofit does resume operations, Abed hopes to help carry on the work of his friends.

“Once you get there and see how much need there is and how much suffering there, you forget about the risk … If I have the opportunity to help people in that great of need, I’m going to take that opportunity,” said Abed.

The nonprofit says it's served 43 million meals to Palestinians after setting up two kitchens in Gaza.

The charity's sea deliveries are considered a main reason the US declared it would build a floating pier to help deliver aid.