Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0136

Incident date

October 12, 2023

Location

دير البلح, Deir Al Balah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.419778, 34.351556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least 26 civilians were killed across three generations of an extended family, including 12 children, in an alleged Israeli strike on the al-Azayza family home on October 12th. A “large number” of others were also injured in the attack in the Deir al-Balah neighbourhood of the Gaza Strip.

The deceased were members of three families. Both Saeed Youssef al-Azayza (75 years old) and his wife Ward Muhammad al-Azayza (60 years old) were killed, along with their children and grandchildren. Their daughter, Amira al-Azayza (23 years old), was killed, as was their son, Lupine al-Azayza (47 years old). Lupine’s wife, Fathia al-Azayza (42 years old) was killed, as was their daughter, Elia Lupine al-Azayza (7 years old).

Another of Saeed and Ward’s daughters, Luna al-Azayza (48 years old), was also killed alongside her children: two daughters, Malak Abu Tawahinah (21 years old) and Kinda Abu Tawahinah (19 years old), and a son, Muhammad Abu Tawahinah (10 years old). Luna’s sister, Amna al-Azayza (40 years old), was also killed along with her husband, Tariq al-Halisi (57 years old), and their three children: their two sons, Ziad al-Halisi (9 years old) and Ali al-Halisi (8 years old), and their daughter, Ola al-Halisi (11 years old).

Members of another branch of the same family were also killed in the strike: Saeed Youssef’s brother, Muhammad Youssef al-Azayza (62 years old), and daughter-in-law Balsam Basil al-Azayza (30 years old). Her son, Saeed al-Azaizeh (8 years old), was killed, as was his sister, Ward al-Azaizeh (6 years old). Balsam’s husband Hussein M A. Halooly survived the strike and posted a condolence message for his wife and the rest of his family online.

Members of another family, the al-Halisi family, were also killed in the strike. Names were identified as Abdel Nasser al-Halisi (64 years old) and his wife, Arwa al-Halisi (36 years old), their children: sons Muhammad al-Halisi (10 years old), Abdullah al-Halisi (9 years old), Abdul Rahman al-Halisi (2 years old) and Abdul Aziz al-Halisi (4 years old), and daughter Batoul al-Halisi (5 years old).

The al-Azayza family were related to renowned photojournalist Moataz Azaizeh, who shared multiple commemorative posts on his social media. Reportedly, after not being able to communicate with his family, Moataz went to the site of the bombing in order to cover the strike, only to find his family amongst the deceased. “My family is in pieces” he told Alaraby News as he documented the removal of body parts of members of his family; some of which were difficult to identify.

A tweet from @Mohammedaboselm described working at Deir Al-Balah Martyrs Health Center with “Uncle Al-Hakim Abu Al-Saeed” (Saeed Youssef al-Azayza) and described him as a “kind, humble, and smiling man who never failed to serve the people of the city of #Deir_Al-Balah”.

Al Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib B Basic School posted on Facebook a condolence message for their colleague Fathia al-Azayza, her husband and her daughter, including an image of their very young daughter dressed up as a doctor.

The strike was reported to have destroyed the entire home and caused damage to neighboring residences.

The search for remains was still ongoing in the following days. Due to the destruction, multiple sources including Anadolu Agency reported that not all remains had been identified at the time, with earlier lower estimates of deaths put at 11 by Anadolu Agency and Nabd News reporting 14. Anadolu Agency also added that “eyewitnesses reported that civil defense and health crews were removing the rubble to save those remaining inside (their number was not specified)” indicating that some civilians may have survived and were injured.

Alaraby News also indicated that there were “a large number injured” in the bombing without providing numbers. Airwars has quantified this as 12-24, to account for this ambiguity.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strike to Israeli forces. Multiple sources specified that the strike occurred without warning.

Every name identified in the strike was found by Airwars among the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of names released on October 26th, 2023.

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 local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (15)

Saeed Youssef al-Azayza سعيد يوسف العزايزة
75 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 927630145
Ward Muhammad al-Azayza ورد محمد العزايزة
60 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 927637694
Amira al-Azayza أميرة العزايزة
23 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 405882028
Lupine al-Azayza لوبين العزايزة
47 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 901309195
Fathia al-Azayza فتحية العزايزة
42 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 801116732
Elia Lupine al-Azayza اليا العزايزة
7 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 437012693
Luna al-Azayza لونا العزايزة
48 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 900812751
Malak Abu Tawahinah ملك أبو طواحنة
21 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 408364404
Kinda Abu Tawahinah كندا أبو طواحنة
19 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 421087123
Muhammad Abu Tawahinah محمد أبو طواحنة
10 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 433825098
Amna al-Azayza أمنة العزايزة
40 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 800075772
Tariq al-Halisi طارق الحليسي
57 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 700280316
Ziad al-Halisi زياد الحليسي
9 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 434230777
Ali al-Halisi علي الحليسي
8 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 436888432
Ola al-Halisi علا الحليسي
11 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 433153673

Family members (4)

Balsam Basil al-Azayza بلسم باسل العزايزة
30 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 803915420
Saeed al-Azaizeh سعبد العزايزة
8 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 436834634
Ward al-Azaizeh ورد العزايزة
6 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 438532962
Muhammad Youssef al-Azayza محمد يزسف العزايزة
62 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 927630178

Family members (7)

Abdel Nasser al-Halisi عبد الناصر الحليسي
64 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 700499882
Arwa al-Halisi اروا الحليسي
36 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 801289216
Muhammad al-Halisi محمد الحليسي
10 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 433931474
Abdullah al-Halisi عبد الله الحليسي
9 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 435096367
Abdul Rahman al-Halisi عبد الرحمن الحليسي
2 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 444984413
Abdul Aziz al-Halisi عبد العزيز الحليسي
4 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 439077017
Batoul al-Halisi بتول الحليسي
5 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 440654325

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    26
  • (12 children9 women5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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 (37) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (95) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @16_gouda
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    Source: @16_gouda
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    Source: @Mohammedaboselm
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    Source: @som3amuh
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    Source: @Wael_Naeem96
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    Source: @Wael_Naeem96
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    Source: alsharaqwa
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    Source: alsharaqwa
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    Source: alsharaqwa
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    Source: alsharaqwa
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    Source: alsharaqwa
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    Source: alsharaqwa
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    Source: Anamalika.beafkary
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    Source: Anamalika.beafkary
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    Source: Anamalika.beafkary
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    Source: Anamalika.beafkary
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    Source: Anamalika.beafkary
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    Source: Yosra.jbehi.7
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Alam radio
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    Source: Ihsan
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    Source: Ihsan
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    Source: Ihsan
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    Source: Ihsan
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    Source: Ihsan
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    Source: Ebrahim.alazaiza
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    Source: Ebrahim.alazaiza
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    Source: Abbas school
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    Source: Abbas school
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    Source: Sam.benh.90
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    Source: Sam.benh.90
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    Source: Sam.benh.90
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    Source: Sam.benh.90
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    Source: Sam.benh.90
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    Source: Sam.benh.90
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    Source: Hanaa
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    Source: Hanaa
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    Source: Hanaa
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    Source: Hanaa
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    Source: Hanaa
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    Source: Hanaa
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    Source: Amira
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    Source: Nada.tolin.mohad
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    Source: Nada.tolin.mohad
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    Source: Nada.tolin.mohad
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: Usama
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: JOODY246
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    Source: Basel
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    Source: Radio Alam
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    Source: Hadeel.alsous.5
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    Source: Hadeel.alsous.5
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    Source: Hadeel.alsous.5
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    Source: Ameerazaneen
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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    Source: Alam Palestine
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Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Deir Al Balah (دير البلح). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 31.419778, 34.351556.

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  • Imagery:
    @adham922

  • Imagery:
    @btselem

  • Imagery:
    @btselem

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
    26
  • (12 children9 women5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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 (37) [ collapse]