Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0395

Incident date

October 20, 2023

Location

ديرالبلح, Deir al Balah, Central Gaza Strip, the Gaza Strip

Airwars assessment

Up to six civilians were killed in an alleged Israeli bombardment on residential tower blocks in Deir al Balah during the afternoon of 20th October 2023. It appears most, if not all, of those killed were children. At least four other injured civilians were identified by looking at images of the incident. Both the deceased and injured remain unnamed. Safa Press Service reported that the bodies of the children were taken to Al-Aqsa Hospital.

It appeared two consecutive strikes hit two buildings within the Al-Qastal Tower complex. The first hit the Palestine Tower, with the second hitting Tower 8 shortly afterwards.

@ShehabAgency and other local sources initially reported that “a Palestinian was killed and others injured” in the incident while other sources identified five people killed. A Facebook post from “History and Burial” included a graphic image of the bodies of six children who they said were killed in Deir Al-Balah, adding that “they were sleeping, and now they are sleeping forever.” Another post from An-Najah Block included a video of a funeral for the members of the Kurd family who also reportedly died in Deir al Balah.

Multiple local sources reported that injuries resulted from the strike without providing a toll. A video from @AJA_Palestine shows at least three injured children being brought into the hospital for treatment, as well as an injured man.

The strike was caught on a live television broadcast by Al Ghad and showed two towers simultaneously being struck and collapsing instantly. Images of the aftermath were shared by Quds Network (@qudsn) on X/Twitter showing the multiple storeys of the buildings had collapsed with the floors layered on top of one another.

According to Safa PS, Tower No. 8 in Al-Qastal Towers is affiliated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. This was corroborated by source @K_a_p_s_o_l_a, on X/Twitter. It is unclear the extent of this affiliation.

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 in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    UN facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 6
  • (1–6 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 (39) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • 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 and/or Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    UN facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 6
  • (1–6 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 (39) [ collapse]