Tributes have been paid to a former University of Glasgow master's student who was killed in Gaza alongside her six-month-old baby, husband and two brothers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced "with a heavy heart" that Dima Alhaj, 29, had died in the occupied Palestine territory.


She worked as a patient administrator at the limb reconstruction centre, a critical part of the WHO trauma and emergency team.


She died after her parents’ house in southern Gaza—where she had evacuated to from Gaza City—was bombed.


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


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.


Israel has agreed a ceasefire deal with the Hamas militant group that will bring a temporary halt to the devastating war which has stretched on for more than six weeks.


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 this morning.


It stressed that hostilities would resume after the pause until it destroys Hamas’ military capabilities and returns all hostages.


On Women’s Day 2022, Dima said in a WHO social media post that she was proud of her work because “it contributes to giving people hope and a new lease on life.”


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.”


University of Glasgow principal, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, said he shared the grief of her employers for 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. 

The Herald:


“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. Ceasefire and release hostages now.”



READ MORE: Humza Yousaf calls on UK Government to recognise Palestinian state


Liam O’Hare, a journalist and documentary maker, said the former University of Glasgow student had stayed with his parents while she was in Scotland.


The Herald:


He said: “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.”


Scottish Labour has formally backed demands for a full ceasefire in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, widening the party’s divisions on the conflict.


Anas Sarwar supported a motion tabled by Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, in Holyrood on Tuesday calling for an immediate truce, in defiance of Keir Starmer’s instruction that Labour should only support “pauses” to allow evacuations and aid to arrive.