Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0093

Incident date

October 10, 2023

Location

خان يونس, Khan Younis, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.346149, 34.303899 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On October 10th, 2023, an alleged Israeli airstrike hit the Al-Astal family’s home in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza strip, killing seven civilians and injuring up to 50 others, including 20 children.

Khaled Abdel Salam Abu Walid, a member of the Al-Astal family Facebook group, posted the names of eight people killed in the strike: Hussein Ahmed Omar Mutawa Al-Astal, 38 years old; his first wife Sudfa Suleiman Othman Milad Al-Astal, 38 years old; his second wife Shams Khaled Musa Khalafallah Al-Astal, 25 years old; his son Ahmed Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal, 12 years old; his daughter Fadwa Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal, 13 years old; his son Suleiman Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal, eight years old; his daughter Hazar Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal, six years old; Elaf Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal, two years old.

Moses KH posted a tribute to Shams Khaled Khalafallah and her daughter Elaf Al-Astal, two years old. Her husband Hussein Ahmed Al-Astal – Abu Ahmed – was described by Moses KH as a “Mujahid”, suggesting he was a militant. There was no further detail on his potential militant activity in any of the public sources but he has not been included by Airwars in the civilian harm toll. Abed Alaziz Alastal mourned the loss of his sister, her husband, and his other wife and children.

One of the civilians killed was six-year-old Hazar Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al Astal, whose teacher described her as “polite, quiet, and distinguished”. The teacher also posted photos of Hazar in the classroom holding up a sign saying ‘Welcome to the first grade’, playing with modelling clay, and smiling and flashing a thumbs-up to the camera.

Dr. Sami Mohamed, a university professor, posted to his Facebook account that due to the brutality of the attacks upon Gaza, “most of the remains [of the dead] were buried in one grave”. Khaled Abdel Salam Abu Walid wrote that due to the bombing, an entire family was erased from the Gaza civil registry. He, along with many of the Al-Astal family’s relatives and loved ones, expressed his grief and extended his condolences via social media posts.

In addition to the civilians killed in the bombing, there were reports of injuries from multiple sources. A Facebook post from Mohamed Al Astal alleged 50 civilians were injured, including 20 children, while a Facebook post from the Al-Astal family account wished for the wounded to recover, without specifying a number of injuries. Mezan reported that the bombing reduced many homes to rubble, and civil defense teams were still searching through the ruins until at least the next day, looking for survivors.

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 around dawn.

The victims were named as:

Family members (7)

Sudfa Suleiman Othman Milad Al-Astal صدفة سليمان عثمان ميلاد الأسطل
38 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 800421190
Shams Khaled Musa Khalafallah Al-Astal شمس خالد موسى خلف الله الأسطل
25 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 403712599
Ahmed Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal أحمد حسين أحمد مطاوع الأسطل
12 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432411387
Fadwa Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal فدوى حسين أحمد مطاوع الأسطل
13 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 429815103
Suleiman Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal سليمان حسين أحمد مطاوع الأسطل
8 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 435255468
Hazar Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal هزار حسين أحمد مطاوع الأسطل
6 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 438571622
Elaf Hussein Ahmed Mutawa Al-Astal إيلاف حسين أحمد مطاوع الأسطل
2 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 445019151

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Al-Astal family website
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abed Alaziz Alastal
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abed Alaziz Alastal
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abed Alaziz Alastal
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Dr.. Sami Muhammad
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Teacher Hadeel Al-Halis
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Teacher Hadeel Al-Halis
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Teacher Hadeel Al-Halis

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Khan Younis (خان يونس), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.346149, 34.303899. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Israeli Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50
  • 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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (17) [ collapse]