Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0057

Incident date

October 9, 2023

Location

بيت لاهيا, Beit Lahia, North Gaza, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.551277, 34.509233 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On Monday, October 9th 2023, between 13 and 15 members of the al-Qatnani family, including up to six children and four women, were killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike on their home in front of the Um al-Fahem school, in the town of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip. The Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCI) reported that the strike occurred without warning at approximately 3 am.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported that the strike completely destroyed the four floors of the home, killing all 13 civilians within it, including four women and five children. Additional social and local media sources indicated that the death toll was 15 civilians, including 6 children. The dead identified were the elderly Musa Samir Musa al-Qatnani (Abu Samir, 64), his wife Umm Samir al-Shalabi, their children, Samir, Omar and Hamada al-Qatnani, Rana Nasser al-Shalab (Samir al-Qatnani’s wife), Aseel al-Qatnani, and Maha al-Qatnani. Relatives posted generally that Abu Samir and Umm Samir, their three children, each of their wives, and their grandchildren were killed. Defense for Children International and The Guardian revealed the names of five of the children killed – siblings Basma (16), Mohammad (13), and Sally Samir Mousa al-Qatnani (11), and their cousins Salma (4) and Jawan Omar Mousa al-Qatnani (2) (also reported as Joan), with DCI also noting the death of Ali Omar Mousa al-Qatnani (4). Rana al-Shalabi’s mother posted that her daughter Rana and Rana’s children were also killed. While the two other members of the family killed have not been named, it is not known where Rana and Samir’s daughter Aleem was at the time of the strike. Similarly, from social media, Salma’s father appears to be Muhammad Musa Al-Qatnani. It is unclear where he was at the time of the strike.

According to the victim’s social media profiles, earlier this year Rana al-Shalab and her husband Samir celebrated both her graduation with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Nursing from the University College of Applied Sciences Gaza, as well as their daughter Aleem’s high school graduation. Muhammed Musa al-Qatnani celebrated his daughter’s first birthday a few days prior to the bombing. Relatives, friends and neighbours mourned the loss on social media, with posts such as “Beneath the ruins of this house, 15 martyrs from the Al-Qatnani family…an entire family removed from the civil registry”, “It is with great sadness that we received the news of the martyrdom of our family and relatives….the martyrdom of Abu Samir Al-Qatnani family and of our dear sister, Rana Nasser, and her husband and children under the Israeli bombing in Gaza…/We belong to God and to Him we shall return… Survival belongs to God/15 martyrs from the Qatnani family”, and another saying “Oh God, the amount of pain/There is sadness in our neighbourhood.”

According to North Jersey News, Mohammad Qatanani, a relative of the family who is the Imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County in New Jersey, learnt of the strike when he saw “images of his family members flashed on the screen of the Al Jazeera network.” He was quoted as saying “The whole family has been taken out…My uncle, his wife, three children, their wives and their children. In total 15. It’s not only my family. There are thousands of families we are losing every day. You can’t imagine the situation they are in right now.” An influential member of New Jersey’s religious communities who has spoken at various churches and synagogues across the state, he received condolences from state officials. It was reported that after his family fled Gaza in 1948, he has not been able to return due to the blockade imposed by the Israeli government on the Gaza Strip; he has therefore not seen the family in Gaza for decades, and they have likewise been unable to leave.

Maha al-Qatnani, whose husband and children were also killed, is survived by her brother Karama Ghunaim, who mourned her saying “….With souls satisfied with God’s judgement and destiny, we received the news of the martyrdom of my sister Maha, her husband, children and all those who were with her…/We ask the Almighty to surround them with His vast mercy and to dwell them in a spacious manner/We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return”.

Airwars was unable to match any of the named victims to the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of fatalities in Gaza released on October 26th, 2023.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces.

Due to the scale and urgency of Airwars’ assessment process, all images have been automatically uploaded to each assessment with the graphic filter applied to protect users. We have also included all images identified from the sources, which may also include any imagery of combatants.

The incident occured at approximately 3:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (14)

Musa Samir Musa al-Qatnani (Abu Samir) موسى سمير القطناني
64 years old male killed
Umm Samir al-Shalabi إم سمير
Adult female killed Matched to MoH ID Wife of Musa
Samir Al-Qatnani سمير القطناني
male killed
Omar Al-Qatnani عمر القطناني
male killed
Hamada Al-Qatnani حمادة القطناني
male killed
Basma Al-Qatnani ياسم القطناني
16 years old female killed
Mohammad Al-Qatnani محمد القطناني
13 years old male killed
Sally Al-Qatnani سالي القطناني
11 years old female killed
Rana Nasser Al-Shalab رنا ناصر الشلبي
female Samir's wife killed
Maha Al-Qatnani مها القطناني
female killed
Aseel al-Qatnani اسيل القطناني
male killed
Salma Omar Mousa Al-Qatnani
4 years old female killed
Jawan Omar Mousa Al-Qatnani
2 years old male killed
Ali Omar Al-Qatnani علي عمر القطناني
4 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    13 – 15
  • (5–6 children4 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (31) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Jales
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    Source: Jales
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    Source: Jales
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    Source: Basel abu hassan
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abdulrahman
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    Source: Abdulrahman
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    Source: Haitham
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    Source: Haitham
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    Source: Haitham
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    Source: 5 news
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Enas Moahmmed Facebook
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    Source: Enas Moahmmed Facebook
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    Source: Enas Moahmmed Facebook
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ahmad aldahour facebook
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    Source: Walaa Alhindi facebook
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    Source: Walaa Alhindi facebook
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    Source: Amani facebook
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    Source: Amani facebook
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    Source: Abu Omar facebook
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    Source: Abu Omar facebook
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    Source: Abu Omar facebook
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    Source: Abu Omar facebook
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Khaled al qatnani facebook
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    Source: Khaled al qatnani facebook
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Momen facebook
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    Source: Momen facebook
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amir Ahmad facebook
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    Source: Amir Ahmad facebook
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amir Ahmad facebook
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amir Ahmad facebook
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Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Um Al Fahem school (مدرسة أم الفحم الثانوية), allegedly located in the west of Beit Lahia (بيت لاهيا) town. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Beit Lahia are: 31.551277, 34.509233.

Israeli Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Israeli Military
  • Israeli Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    13 – 15
  • (5–6 children4 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (22) [ collapse]