Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0194

Incident date

October 14, 2023

Location

جوار مدرسة الفاخورة, Vicinity of al Fakhoura School, North Gaza, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.542994, 34.494300 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

During the evening of Saturday, October 14th, 2023, an alleged Israeli airstrike on the Al-Herbawi family home and the homes adjacent to it in the Al-Fakhoura neighborhood west of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip reportedly killed at least 39 civilians belonging to at least five different families, including at least 12 women and 11 children, and injured between 80 and more than 100 people. Among the victims was a 49-year old Palestinian woman Suhaila Masbah Abu Saada (Umm Fathi) who was killed alongside her seven children and two grandchildren, one of whom was only four months old. One of her daughters had her wedding just a day before her death.

The Palestinian Information Center’s Twitter account (@PalinfoAr) posted videos showing the direct aftermath of the attack, the rescue efforts amidst rubble and dust and bodies of people carried on stretchers.

IQ news reported quoting a Hamas statement that the massacre in Al-Fakhoura neighborhood “claimed the lives of about 27 martyrs and more than 80 injured civilians.” A Facebook user Khalil Ziadeh reported that Al-Herbawi family home and the homes adjacent to it were bombed, resulting in “more than 27 martyrs and 100 injured people,” sharing a video of the rescue efforts where injured and killed victims were pulled out the rubble and carried on stretchers. Orient Post later wrote that there were more than 100 injured. According to Wafa news, the killed and injured civilians were transferred to the Indonesian Hospital in the neighboring town of Beit Lahia. Wafa news as well as a Facebook user Hamdi L. Behairy shared the shocking images of the injured small children, some of them crying and some of them carried on stretchers to the hospital.

Social media tributes by family relatives and friends helped Airwars to identify the names of 38 people killed and four injured civilians belonging to the Abu Saada, Abu Aita, Al-Herbawi, Hammad, and al-Harash families. According to a Facebook post by Mahmoud Abu Znada media platform, members of the Al-Balbisi and Qadas families were also killed, but further details about them are unknown.

Abu Saada family

49-year Suhaila Masbah Abu Saada (Um Fathi) was killed alongside her seven children and two grandchildren, namely, her son Fathi Mufid Abu Saada, her six daughters Lina Mufid Abu Saada, Iman Mufid Abu Saada, Islam Mufid Abu Saada (wife of Abdullah Hammad), Israa Mufid Abu Saada, Hadeel Mufid Abu Saada, and Hala Mufid Abu Saada, as well as a daughter of Lina, Alina Muhammad Abu Saada, and a 4-month old son of Islam Mahmoud Abdullah Hammad.

According to the Twitter/X tribute by “Martyrs of Gaza”, Suhaila Abu Saada became an orphan at the age of five. She was a widow of Mufid Abu Saada, who was killed in an Israeli strike in the vicinity of a UN facility in 2009. She raised her nine children (eight daughters and one son) alone. Two of her daughters survived the attack.

“Martyrs of Gaza” wrote about the late Suhaila that “she dedicated her life to raising and educating all her children. Despite all the difficulties and challenges she faced, she was both the mother and father figure, as well as the warm homeland for her children. She possesses a social personality and is loved by everyone who knows her.”  Two images of the smiling Suhaila in white and black hijabs were also shared.

Suhalia’s cousin Nehad Awad described her cousin as a “persevering, struggling, and courageous mother”.  He also shared the fact that the late daughter of Suhalia, an engineer named Hadeel Mufid Abu Saada, was a bride whose wedding happened just a day before her death. Her other daughter Israa was a diligent schoolgirl who dreamt of studying architecture, while Iman was a kind and cheerful girl.

Two children of Suhalia, her son Fathi and her daughter Iman, were 21-year-old twins. The Twitter/X account of “Martyrs of Gaza” in its tribute named “The Twin Martyrs” described the engineer Fathi as “a calm, gentle, intelligent young man, dedicated to his studies and respectful to his mother and sisters.” Fathi dreamt of opening an engineering office together with his sisters Hadeel and Israa who were also engineers, but this dream was left unfulfilled. The last words he uttered were, “Alhamdulillah… May Allah have mercy on us… Pray for us.”

Iman was described by Martyrs of Gaza as “a kind-hearted girl who loved life, worked diligently in her studies and was a freelance marketer in the field of digital marketing”. It was written that she possessed a leadership personality and a beloved positive energy that touched everyone who knew her. The last words of Iman were “Blessed are the martyrs. I wish to see myself as a martyr while wrapped in a shroud.”

A surviving husband of Suhalia’s daughter Lina Mohammad Abu Saada shared his grief over losing his wife, daughter and cousins on Facebook, writing that “May God have mercy on you all and he accepts you as martyrs.” He also shared an image of a small girl aged approximately one or two years old, apparently his deceased daughter Alina. A brother of Suhaila, Omm Saoud Abu Saada, also shared several images of the small smiling Alina, calling her the “joy of my heart and my pearl”.

Suhalia’s sister Samah Dawoud Ahmed Abed Abu Saada (Umm Al-Abd Al-Shalfouh) was also killed in the attack alongside her children – two daughters Nada Abu Saada and Malak Abu Saada, and two sons Abboud Abu Saada and Hamoud Abu Saada.

A brother of Suhaila, Abed al Rahman, wrote a heartfelt testimony on Facebook being “in widespread sadness, in deep pain inside”, mourning the loss of his two sisters and 13 more family members. He called the late Suhaila “my sister and second mother, the crown of my head”, her son Fathi his “fifth brother”, her daughter Israa “the light of my eyes”, and Samah’s daughter Nada as “closest to his heart”.  Also Suhaila and her sister Samah were mentioned in the Facebook tributes by Amal Yousef Aziz and Mohammed Aziz. Amal wrote that the late Samah was “her beloved aunt”.

Abu Aita family

A Facebook post by Gehad Abu Yazan reported about the tragedy in the Abu Aita family. Gehad’s grandfather, Haji Hamed Abu Aita (Abu Haled) was killed alongside his 11-year old grandson Ilyas Tareq Hamed Abu Aita and two granddaughters (children), Tala Saed Abu Aita and Layan Ra’ed Abu Aita as well as his daughter-in-law Mountaha Abu Aita. Hamed’s two sons Tareq Hamed Abu Aita and Saed Ahmad Abu Aita as well as Tareq’s daughter Joud Tareq Abu Aita were injured in the attack. Gehad shared a picture of his late grandfather – an elderly man in a suit and a red-black tie.

Al-Herbawi family

Gehad Abu Yazan also wrote about the strikes against the homes of his uncles, Wajih Al-Herbawi and Abu Hassan Al-Herbawi, which resulted in the death of Muhammad Tahseen Al-Herbawi, Abdel Azim Wajih Al-Herbawi and Sherine Al-Herbawi (Al-Ashqar). He also said that there were still missing people under the rubble, and the injured person was in a serious condition (it is unclear how many injuries he is referring to).

Hammad family

The Hammad family was connected with the Abu Saada family through Abdullah Hammad (not among the victims) whose wife Islam Mufid Abu Saada and child Mahmoud Abdullah Hammad were among those killed (mentioned above). The extended Hammad family also suffered additional losses in the attack. A woman Asmaa Jamal Hammad was killed along with her small sons, Hamza Hammad and Mohammad Hammad, while her husband Ahmad Hammad (Abu Hamza) was seriously injured. Asmaa’s cousin Baha Hammad wrote his condolence message on Facebook, sharing an image of two small smiling boys, Hamza and Mohahammad. A childhood friend of Asmaa, Ðuaa Madhoun, also wrote her tribute to the deceased woman.

A 34-year old Mohammad Shukri Hammad Hammad was killed alongside his daughters, Islam Hammad and Malak Hammad.

Al-Harash family

Dozens of martyrs were reported by Basil Al-Harsh in the house of his uncle Ziad Al-Harash located in the Al-Fakhoura area, among them his sons and his grandchildren. Abu Muhammad wrote in a Facebook post that his mother-in-law Hajja/Nidal Al-Harash was killed alongside her son, Mahmoud Ziad Al-Harash and Abu Muhammad’s sister Amal Al-Harash Abu Ghaben. Among the victims killed in the attack was also the wife of his cousin, Doaa Al-Harash Hejaz and his daughter, Diana Al-Harash. There were still missing women and children under the rubble, according to him.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces. According to Wafa news, the airstrike happened without prior warning.

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 in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Family members (15)

Suhaila Masbah Abu Saada (Um Fathi) سهيلة داود احمد عابد ابو سعدة
49 years old female killed
Fathi Mufid Abu Saada فتحي مفيد ابو سعدة
21 years old male killed
Lina Mufid Abu Saada لينا مفيد ابو سعدة
Adult female killed
Alina Muhammad Abu Saada ألينا محمد ابو سعدة
Child female killed
Iman Mufid Abu Saada ايمان مفيد ابو سعدة
21 years old female killed
Israa Mufid Abu Saada اسراء مفيد ابو سعدة
female killed
Hadeel Mufid Abu Saada هديل مفيد ابو سعدة
25 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 404129553
Hala Mufid Abu Saada حلا مفيد ابو سعدة
female killed
Samah Dawoud Ahmed Abed Abu Saada سماح داود احمد عابد ابو سعدة
female killed
Nada ندى
female killed
Abboud عبود
male killed
Hamoud حمود
male killed
Malak ملاك
female killed
Islam Mufid Abu Saada اسلام مفيد أبو سعدى
female killed
Mahmoud Abdullah Hammad محمود عبدالله حماد
0.4 years old male killed

Family members (7)

Ahmad Hammad احمد حماد
male injured
Asmaa Jamal Hammad اسماء جمال حماد
female killed
Hamza Hammad حمزة حماد
Child male killed
Mohammad Hammad حمد حماد
3 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 444969463
Mohmmad Shukri Hammad محمد شكري حماد
34 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 802380964
Islam Hammad اسلام حماد
Child female killed
Malak Hammad ملاك حماد
13 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 429761034

Family members (3)

Muhammad Tahseen Al-Herbawi محمد تحسين الهرباوي
male killed
Abdel Azim Wajih Al-Herbawi عبد العظيم وجيه الهرباوي
27 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 401162466
Sherine Al-Herbawi (Al-Ashqar) شيرين الهرباوي
killed

Family members (8)

Haji Hamed Abu Aita (Abu Haled) حماد أبو عيطة
77 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 413044207
Ilyas Tareq Hamed Abu Aita الياس طارق ابو عيطة
11 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432194793
Tala Saed Abu Aita تالا سائد ابو عيطة
female killed
Layan Ra’ed Abu Aita ليان رائد ابو عيطة
9 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 434612008
Mountaha Abu Aita منتهى ابو عيطة
37 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 801433509
Tareq Hamed Abu Aita طارق حماد ابو عيطة
male injured
Saed Ahmad Abu Aita سائد احمد ابو عيطة
male injured
Joud Tareq Abu Aita جود طارق ابو عيطة
female injured

Family members (5)

Um Nidal Al-Harsh أم نضال الهرش
Adult female killed
Mahmoud Ziad Al-Harash محمود زياد الهرش
32 years old male (Mohammad on Ministry of Health list) killed Matched to MoH ID 803437268
Amal Al-Harash Abu Ghaben أمل الهرش
female killed
Doaa Al-Harsh Hejazi دعاء الهرش
28 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 400515870دعاء
Diana Al-Harsh دينا الهرش
Adult female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    39
  • (11 children12 women6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    80–101
  • 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 (47) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (39) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
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    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
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    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
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    Source: Hamdi L. Behairy
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Muhammad H. Saleh
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gehad Abu Yazan
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    Source: Gehad Abu Yazan
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Baha Hammad
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    Source: Wafa.ps news
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    Source: Qasem Y. Aziz
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mohammad Abu Saada
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    Source: Abd Abo Saada Joba
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    Source: Abd Abo Saada Joba
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Omm Saoud Abu Saada
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Omm Saoud Abu Saada
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Omm Saoud Abu Saada
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Omm Saoud Abu Saada
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Omm Saoud Abu Saada
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Umm Fares
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    Source: Umm Fares
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    Source: Umm Fares
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Dina Mofeed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

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  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of al Fakhoura (الفاخورة) in Jabalia (جباليا). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to the following exact coordinates: 31.542994, 34.494300.

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  • Imagery:
    @WaheidiSaad

  • Imagery:
    Chaine Une

  • Imagery:
    Chaine Une

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
    39
  • (11 children12 women6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    80–101
  • 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 (47) [ collapse]