Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0179

Incident date

October 13, 2023

Location

السوارحة, Al Sawarha, Deir al Balah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.442370, 34.374092 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In the early morning hours of Friday, October 13, 2023, an alleged Israeli airstrike on the four-storey house of the Nofal family situated in Al-Sawarha area of the Gaza Strip’s Nuseirat refugee camp killed at least 27 and up to 30 civilian family members, including at least six women, among them one woman pregnant with a baby girl, at least 16 children, one of whom was a 7-day old infant, in addition to dozens of others injured. The family relative Yamen Nofal wrote in a Facebook tribute that around 30 family members of Dr. Amin Mohamed Abdullah Nofal were killed after the dawn prayer.

The news outlet Russia Today reported that numerous injuries resulted from the strike, citing a correspondent in Gaza Mustafa Al-Bayed who described “dozens dead and injured at the site”. Photos of the aftermath of the strike show widespread destruction, the home totally collapsed and surrounded by piles of rubble.

The State of Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the bombing in a Facebook post, calling it a “massacre against the Nofal family in Gaza”. It also shared the pictures of the destroyed family house and of the list of victims in Arabic.

Facebook account Nusayrat camp reported about 27 killed members of the Nofal family, having attached a picture of some of the victims. A tribute by Intisar Nofal on Facebook shared the images of the destroyed Nofal family house, pictures of the young children killed in the attack, including a smiling girl in a pink dress, and the list of the victims in Arabic language.

A Facebook testimony by the niece of Dr. Amin Nofal, Yamen Nofal, helped to identify at least 27 names of the family members, but it is evident that the death toll was higher as the identities of some children were not provided. Taking into account the children who were mentioned among the victims without their names, the death toll may reach up to 34 civilians. Alongside the images of some family members, Yamen Nofal also shared the graphic images of the dead bodies of the small children having been killed in the attack as well as an image showing a row of bodies in white bags lined up with at least four appearing to contain small children.

A 62-year old head of the family Dr. Amin Mohamed Abdullah Nofal was killed alongside his 60-year old wife Dr. Tammam Yousef Khalil Nofal, their sons Moatasem Amin Nofal, Maysara Amin Nofal, and Moamen Amin Nofal, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. Yamen Nofal called the late Dr. Amin Nofal “the dean” of the family and showed a photo of a mid-aged man sitting at a desk with a button-up shirt and black tie.

The eldest son 35-year old Moatasem Amin Nofal lost his life alongside the lives of his wife, a 34-year old Maryam Muhammad Nofal and their four children: a 14-year old son Ahmed Moatasem Nofal, an 11-year old son Ali Moatasem Nofal, a 1-year old daughter Fatima Moatasem Nofal and a 6-year old daughter Amna Moatasem Nofal. Yamen Nofal shared an image of Moatasem Nofal where he appears as a young man in a palestinian scarf.

A 32-year old Moamen Amin Nofal was killed alongside his wife Enas Nofal and their four children, including his 6-year old son Islam Moamen Nofa and his 4-year old son Mahmoud Moamen Nofal.

A youngest son of Dr. Ameen Nofal, a 29-year old Maysara Amin Muhammad Nofal was killed alongside his wife Shaima Nofal and their children.

Ameen and Tammam’s other son Mustafa Amin Nofal survived the attack, but lost his 33-year old wife Nabila Nasr Nofal and their four children: a 4-year old daughter Tamam Mustafa Amin Nofal, a 14-year old son Muhammad Mustafa Amin Nofal, a 12-year old son Amr Mustafa Amin Nofal and a 11-year old son Ali Mustafa Amin Nofal.

Ameen and Tammam’s other son Muhammad Amin Nofal lost his three sons in the deadly attack: a 16-year old Amin Muhammad Nofal, an 11-year old Hamza Muhammad Nofal, and an infant Ahmed Muhammad Nofal. One post by Yamen commemorating Amin Muhammad Nofal shows a young man posing for a photo with what appears to be a gun, raising the question of whether he was connected to militant activity. However, this is the only photo showing him with a gun, and does not necessarily mean he was a member of an armed group.

Among the victims killed in the strike mentioned in the post by Yamen Nofal were also her cousin, a 41-year old Mahmoud Nasr Nofal and his four sons, of which only the name of an 11-year old Ayoub Mahmoud Nofal was provided. Nofal also mentioned a 1-year old Mayas Moaz Nofal, a daughter of Moaz Amin Nofal, as having been killed.

In another Facebook post Yamen Nofal mourns the death of one more Nofal family member, a young man Nasser who is seen in the attached image in a black leather jacket.

The deadly attack also killed a seven-day-old child Nabilah Nofal, dubbed “the youngest martyr in Gaza” by Donya news. She was reportedly born the day the war began on October 7th. The Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared a video showing the shrouded body of Nabilah alongside her mother also killed in the strike. The MFA commented on the video: “The Nofal family massacre: The mother is always safety in life, and in Gaza she is also safety, even in death! The video is of an infant, one of the youngest martyrs in the Gaza Strip, being placed next to her martyr mother as they rose with the rest of the family as the Israeli war machine bombed their home over their heads.” It is uncle

According to social media reports, the strike also took the life of a pregnant woman. A Facebook user Abu Hazin wrote a heartbreaking tribute from the perspective of the infant Nabila and a fetus of the pregnant woman, attaching the graphic images of the fetus and of the body of Nabila wrapped in a green cloth: “They promised me there [would be] air after the fluids of the womb, but I found nothing but dust…I knew that we were born in the place where no one cares.”

Where possible, names have been matched with 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 around dawn.

The victims were named as:

Family members (30)

Khali Al-Hajj / Amin Nofal الجاج خليل امين نوفل
62 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 970031159
Tammam Nofal زوجته تمام نوفل
60 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 965022676
Moatasem Amin Nofal معتصم امين نوفل
35 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 802153320
Maryam Muhammad Nofal زوجته مريم محمد نوفل
34 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 802211201
Ahmed Moatasem Nofal احمد معتصم نوفل
14 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 429047418
Ali Moatasem Nofal علي معتصم نوفل
11 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432173243
Fatima Moatasem Nofal فاطمة معتصم نوفل
1 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 444209654
Amna Moatasem Nofal امنة معتصم نوفل
6 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 438472797
Maysara Amin Nofal ميسرة امين نوفل
29 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 804310191
Shaima Nofal زوجته شيماء نوفل
Adult female killed
Moamen Amin Nofal مؤمن امين نوفل
32 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 803261569
Enas Nofal زوجته ايناس نوفل
Adult female killed
Islam Moamen Nofal اسلام مؤمن نوفل
6 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 438213126
Mahmoud Moamen Nofal محمود مؤمن نوفل
4 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 441230844
Nabila Nasr Nofal نبيلة نصر نوفل
33 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 802505636
Tamam Mustafa Amin Nofal تمام مصطفى امين نوفل
4 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 442387916
Muhammad Mustafa Amin Nofal محمد مصطفى امين نوفل
14 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 429048580
Amr Mustafa Amin Nofal عمرو مصطفى امين نوفل
12 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 430614180
Ali Mustafa Amin Nofal علي مصطفى امين نوفل
11 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432173243
Amin Muhammad Nofal امين محمد نوفل
16 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 424576783
Hamza Muhammad Nofal حمزة محمد نوفل
11 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432373132
Ahmed Muhammad Nofal احمد محمد نوفل
Less than 1 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 444708390
Mahmoud Nasr Nofal محمود نصر نوفل
41 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 906612502
Ayoub Mahmoud Nofal ايوب محمود نوفل
11 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432186948
Son of Mahmoud Nasr Nofal ابن محمود نصر نوفل
male killed
Son of Mahmoud Nasr Nofal ابن محمود نصر نوفل
male killed
Son of Mahmoud Nasr Nofal ابن محمود نصر نوفل
male killed
Mayas Moaz Nofal مياس معاذ نوفل
1 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 444466833
Nabila Nofal نبيلة نوفل
Less than 1 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 804655016
Nasser ناصر
Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    27 – 30
  • (16–19 children5 women6 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 (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (33) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Source: @ShehabAgency
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Al Sawarha (السوارحة) in Nuseirat camp (مخيم النصيرات). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to find boundaries for the neighbourhood and to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Sawarha are: 31.442370, 34.374092.

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
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    27 – 30
  • (16–19 children5 women6 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 (20) [ collapse]