Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0289

Incident date

October 17, 2023

Location

حي الشعوط، غرب رفح، جنوب قطاع غزة, a residential house on Jame’ Ali Street north of Ali Mosque in the al-Shaout (Al-Shawut) neighborhood, western Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, Gaza, the Gaza Strip

Airwars assessment

At the dawn of Tuesday, October 17th, 2023, an alleged Israeli airstrike hit a residential building located on Jame’ Ali Street north of Ali Mosque in the al-Shaout  (Al-Shawut) neighborhood in the western part of Rafah city, south of the Gaza Strip, reportedly killing a brother-in-law of the Palestinian journalist Hatem Omar, his wife and infant daughter alongside 25 other civilians, and wounding up to 54 civilians, including Hatem Omar’s wife, children and grandchildren.

Among those killed in the deadly strike were Hatem Omar’s brother-in-law Muhammad Nabil Mukhaimer “al-Shish”, Muhammad’s wife, a 26-year-old pharmacist Safaa Nizar Hassouna Mukhaimer, and their 5-month-old daughter (though also reported by the BBC as 3 months old), Elyana (Elena) Muhammad Mukhaimer.

On Twitter/X social media platform, @AJA_Palestine and other users shared pictures from the hospital where Hatem Omar can be seen collapsing from the shock and breaking down in tears upon seeing the bodies of his relatives and learning that his wife, children and grandchildren had also suffered injuries as a result of the bombardment. Later, Hatem stated that he had become “part of the event.”

The BBC reported in its article that a young mother Safaa Mukhaimer was killed when she was sleeping beside her three-month-old baby girl Elyana, and her husband. A Facebook user Adel Zourob shared a graphic image of the dead girl wrapped in white cloth and of a man holding her dead body in his hands in a hospital.

Safaa’s death was mourned by her uncle, a retired medical doctor based in the UK, Omar Hassouna, who shared that his niece was “polite, helpful, and loved by everyone,” having seen her for the last time in January, during his holiday in Gaza. According to Omar, Safaa’s parents managed to survive the strike, but were “in shock and devastated by her death.” He also shared an image of Safaa – a young woman in a white hijab holding a poster with the inscription “Student_today….Pharmacist_tomorrow”.

Condolence messages honoring the late Muhammad were posted on Facebook by various acquaintances, including Muhammad’s “friend and brother” Sameh Al Sharif and Waleed Yousuf, who referred to Muhammad as his “beloved brother and lifelong friend”. Hesham Abu Asaker stated that Muhammad was “noble” and “the one who forced you to laugh the most and the one who stood by your side in your misfortune, asking about you even in the darkest circumstances. He was well-groomed, gentle, an encyclopedic reader, and an accomplished movie watcher from the first grade. He loved everyone and had no enemies.” Sameh Al Sharif also shared an image of Muhammad – a young bearded man in glasses.

@AlHadath reported that 28 people had been killed and 54 others had been wounded by the Israeli bombing of a residential building in Rafah, while other sources reported 28 dead and “dozens” wounded.

Airwars has matched all three names with the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of nearly 7000 victims’ names and ID numbers released on October 26th.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces. The incident took place without prior warning, according to local sources.

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 (4)

Muhammad Nabil Mukhaimer محمد نبيل مخيمر
33 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 802608265
Safaa Nizar Hassouna Mukhaimer صفاء نزار حسونة مخيمر
26 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 402518013
Elena Muhammad Mukhaimer إيلينا محمد مخيمر
0.5 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 444461867
Wife of Hatem Omar
Adult female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    28
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    54
  • 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 (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (21) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

    Source: @Nashab_32
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Nashab_32
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Nashab_32
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Nashab_32
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @T_Na1f
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Jales_tinian2
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Jales_tinian2
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

    Source: Adelzourob73
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abusaman86
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

    Source: Adelzourob73
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Adelzourob73
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Adelzourob73
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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
    28
  • (1 child1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    54
  • 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 (19) [ collapse]