Former Glasgow student killed alongside six-month-old baby in Gaza

Dima Alhaj was a master’s student at Glasgow University from 2018 to 2019.

Former Glasgow University student and WHO employee killed alongside six-month-old baby in Gaza WHO

A former University of Glasgow student has been killed in southern Gaza alongside her husband, six-month-old baby, and two brothers, the World Health Organisation has said.

Dima Abdullatif Mohammed Alhaj was working at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Limb Reconstruction Centre.

The 29-year-old was a master’s student at Glasgow University as part of the Erasmus exchange programme from 2018 to 2019.

WHO announced that Ms Alhaj had died at her parents’ house in southern Gaza – where she had gone after Gaza City was evacuated – which was bombed.

Reportedly, over 50 family and community members sheltering in the same house also died.

WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, shared the news on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He wrote: “My colleagues and I are devastated: we have lost one of our own in Gaza today. 

“Our young @WHOoPt (WHO in occupied Palestine) colleague Dima Alhaj was tragically killed alongside her six-month-old baby, her husband and 2 brothers. Reportedly multiple other family members sheltering in the same house were also killed. 

“I have no words to describe our grief.”

The University of Glasgow’s principal Professor Anton Muscatelli added that he was also grieving the death of “one of our own”.

He said: “This is one utterly tragic news story in the midst of thousands of similar stories of grief and despair. Dima was an Erasmus student in @UofGlasgow a few years ago – the @WHO DG’s message says it all. We share their grieving for one of our own.”

Dr Rik Peeperkorn, the WHO representative in the occupied Palestinian territory 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 a 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.”

Liam O’Hare, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who knew Ms Alhaj, said: “Dima is a former student at the University of Glasgow and stayed with my parents when she was in Scotland.

“She and her husband Mohammed had moved four times during the attack on Gaza and said last week that she hoped her son Abood would live to see brighter days.”

It comes as Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a ceasefire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war that has stretched on for over six weeks.

Hamas will release dozens of hostages being held in the Gaza Strip in exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

Under the deal, Hamas is to free 50 of the roughly 240 hostages it is holding in the Gaza Strip over a four-day period, the Israeli government said on Wednesday.

It said it would extend the lull by an additional day for every 10 hostages released.

The government said the first hostages to be released would be women and children.

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