Three members of Islamic Jihad were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a tower block in central Gaza. Numerous sources also reported up to eight injuries, with two reporting children among the injured.
The airstrike targeted the Al-Jundi Al-Majhool building, often referred to as the “Unknown Soldier” building in Gaza’s upmarket Rimal neighbourhood. There was limited information on the identities of those injured or the extent of the injuries in the reporting around the incident. Wafa News reported that most of the eight injured were children, while Al Watan alleged one child had been wounded. Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights recorded seven injuries, all of which they said were moderate to light.
There was significantly more information on the three men who were killed in the airstrike. They were identifed as Sameh Fahim Al-Mamlouk, Kamal Tayseer Qureiqa and Muhammad Yahya Abu Al-Ata.
Some sources identified the men as civilians but information however emerged indicating they were militants. Their deaths were announced of the website of Islamic Jihad. A statement posted on the site read: “On the May 11th, 2021, and on the second day of the Battle of Saif al-Quds, [the name given by militants in Gaza for the May war] the commander Sameh al-Mamluk was on a date with the martyrdom, accompanied by his Mujahideen brothers Kamal Taysir Qureiqa and Muhammad Yahya Abu al-Atta, following a cowardly assassination carried out by the Zionist planes…”
According to the Times of Israel, a spokesperson for the Al-Quds Brigade, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, vowed revenge for the deaths. “Our martyrs, commanders Sameh Fahim Al-Mamlouk, Kamal Tayseer Qureiqa and Muhammad Yahya Abu Al-Ata, bled, and we affirm that the response to their assassination will be harsh.”
Images also appeared on social media showing the three men in military fatigues wearing hats which appeared to have the Islamic Jihad emblem on the front.
The Israeli Defence Forces confirmed the airstrike in a tweet which included a video of the incident. The caption read, “This is the moment that the IDF & Israel Security Agency carried out a targeted strike against Islamic Jihad commander, Samah Abed al-Mamluk & other senior members of his unit. They were among those responsible for hundreds of rockets fired at Israelis.”
“An attack was carried out on a hiding place in which senior members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket apparatus were staying,” the Israeli military and the Shin Bet said, according to the Times of Israel.
The main target of the strike appeared to be Sameh Fahim Al-Mamlouk, identified by the Times of Israel as a senior commander of the armed wing. According to the Islamic Jihad website, he joined the Al Quds Brigade in 2004. The other two fighters were reportedly field commanders who oversaw rocket strikes on Israel.
According to World Israel News, Muhammad Yahya Abu Al-Ata was the deputy commander of the Gaza Brigade and one of the heads of the special rocket unit.
There was some confusion in the reporting as Jerusalem Post reported a Hassan Abu al-Ata as being killed in a different strike. He was referred to as deputy commander of the Gaza Brigade as well, with both sources noting the deceased was a brother of Baha Abu al-Atta, a senior Islamic Jihad commander who was killed alongside his wife in an Israeli airstrike in 2019.
An IDF press statement on the 11th May announced that the IDF had struck a multi-story building used by Hamas, stating: “Inside the building were multiple military units used by Hamas, including headquarters used for military research and development, military intelligence offices and more. Prior to the strike, the IDF provided advance warning to civilians in the building and provided sufficient time for them to evacuate the site.”
All three men killed in the airstrike were married, according to the Islamic Jihad website.
The incident occured at 11:25 am local time.
- Sameh Fahim Al-Mamlouk 34 years old male killed
- Kamal Tayseer Qureiqa 34 years old male killed
- Muhammad Yahya Abu Al-Ata 30 years old male killed
Sources (41) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention an apartment being struck in the Al Jundi Al Majool Tower (عمارة الجندي المجهول في) in the Rimal (حي الرمال) neighbourhood of Gaza (غَزَّة). Analyzing visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 31.51836, 34.447176.
Israeli Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
Twitter post: Raw Aerial Footage: This is the moment that the IDF & Israel Security Agency carried out a targeted strike against Islamic Jihad commander, Samah Abed al-Mamluk & other senior members of his unit. They were among those responsible for hundreds of rockets fired at Israelis.
The IDF struck a multi-story building used by the Hamas terror organization. The building housed the Hamas organization's military intelligence offices and other units
A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck a multi-story building in the Rimal neighborhood, in the city of Gaza, used by the Hamas terror organization.
Inside the building were multiple military units used by Hamas, including headquarters used for military research and development, military intelligence offices and more. Prior to the strike, the IDF provided advance warning to civilians in the building and provided sufficient time for them to evacuate the site.
The Hamas terror organization is responsible for the events occurring in, and from, the Gaza Strip, and will bear the consequences of its actions against Israel and her citizens.
The IDF is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios while continuing to fulfill its mission to defend the citizens of Israel.