Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT030

Incident date

May 12, 2021

Location

الزيتون, Al Zeitoun, The Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.485479, 34.444885 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Between two and three civilians, including two children, were killed and between four and 25 others were injured in alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al-Zaytoun neighborhood on May 12, 2021.

According to the Anadolu Agency, “one person was killed and several injured in an Israeli raid targeting Al-Zaytoun neighborhood”. However, @GNNANOW and @batoolaloufi tweeted that three people were killed.

Al Mezan reported that “at 9:15pm, Israeli air forces fired two missiles onto Salah Eddein Street, in the east of the Al-Zeitoun neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, killing Yahya Mazen Shehada Khalifa, 13, who happened to be in the area.”

The Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) reported that Yahya had been walking to a shop near his home when the Israeli missile exploded, killing him instantly and dismembering his body. Yahya was pronounced dead at Shifa Hospital. In addition, dozens of residents and people passing by were injured in the blast and many homes were destroyed.

The New York Times quoted his father, Mazen Khalifa as saying “He was an innocent and sweet boy”. He “enjoyed riding his bike, had memorized several chapters of the Quran and hoped to one day visit the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem”. He was killed while he was running out to buy yogurt and ice cream for his family.

Al Mezan later added that Mahmoud Hamed Tulba, 13, died of his wounds the next day.

DCIP stated that Mahmoud had been leaving the barber shop when shrapnel from the blast hit his head. His injuries were treated at Shifa Hospital in the intensive care unit but ultimately he succumbed to his injuries and died the next morning.

Hamed Tolbeh, father of Mahmoud, told the New York Times that he was an excellent student, he liked the sciences and dreamed of becoming a mechanical engineer. “He was the backbone of our family. We could rely on him for anything, like making eggs and sandwiches for his siblings, tea and coffee for guests, cleaning the house and picking up groceries. He had a bright future but it was buried with him in the grave”. Mahmoud was killed just steps from the barber shop’s entrance where he was going to help his cousin.

@ShehabAgency put the number of civilians injured at 23 after a “house belonging to the Barakat family” was struck. @M1998HM identified 20 injuries that arrived at Al-Shifa Hospital as an initial toll while @Obada_mekkousi provided a toll of 25 injuries. Al Ghad TV gave the lowest estimate of four injuries.

One of the locations affected by the strikes was an ice factory in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, as reported by Al Sharq. DCIP further pinpointed the location to in front of an auto repair ship on Salah al-Din Street.

@AlHadath quoted Journalist Adel Al-Zanoun who identified more than 20 Israeli raids on the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood while Al Kofiya News said that only three missiles were launched. @M1998HM pointed out that the bombing occurred without warning.

The incident occured at 9:15 pm local time.

  • Yahya Mazen Shehada Khalifa 13 years old male killed
  • Mahmoud Hamed Tulba 13 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Armed Forces

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of Yahya Mazen Shehadeh Khalifa, who was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by Mohammed Kashko abo Kifah via Facebook)
  • Image of Yahya Mazen Shehadeh Khalifa, who was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by Mohammed Kashko abo Kifah via Facebook)
  • Mahmoud Hamed Tulba, who was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by Khalid Alaa via Facebook)
  • Image of Yahya Mazen Shehadeh Khalifa, who was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by the New York Times)
  • Mother and brother of Yahya Mazen Shehadeh Khalifa, who was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by the New York Times)
  • Mahmoud Hamed Tulba, who was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by the New York Times)
  • Nagham, sister of Mahmoud Hamed Tulba, cradles his body after he was killed in strikes on Al Zaytoun on May 12, 2021. (Image posted by the New York Times)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Salah Eddien street, allegedly within the Al Zeitoun (الزيتون) neighbourhood south of Gaza city. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Zeitoun are: 31.485479, 34.444885.

  • Imagery:
    Google Earth

Israeli Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Israeli Armed Forces
  • Israeli Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Armed Forces

Sources (28) [ collapse]