Between two to three civilians, including one child, were killed and as many as three civilians were injured in alleged Israeli strikes on the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza on May 13th 2021.
Two of the fatalities were named by local sources as Ahmed Rami Mahoud Al-Hwairi, 12, and Moayad Tayseer Al-Khateeb, 21.
B’Tselem collected testimony from Muhammad al-Khatib, 29, Muayad’s brother: “On Thursday, 13 May 2021, the first day of ‘Eid al-Fitr, my sister Alaa, 28, came to visit us with her daughter Zahrah, who’s two years old. It was very tense. There were airstrikes all the time, and we were scared because there were lots of drones and we could hear bombing close to al-Bureij Refugee Camp and farther away. Shortly before 3:00 P.M., my brother Muayad went to the grocery store, which is about 40 meters away from our house. He asked Alaa if she needed anything. A few minutes later, I went into my room to rest a little and then, suddenly, the glass windows in the house shattered. The doors cracked and thick dust seeped in. We were all stunned and didn’t understand what was going on. My brother Husam and his wife ran down to the ground floor from their apartment. Everyone was yelling and screaming…I left the house and ran into one of the neighbors. I asked him if he and his kids were okay, and he said he didn’t know how the kids were yet because everything was covered in dust and rubble. I kept walking down the street and saw fire coming out of the Abu ‘Iyada home. It’s under construction, and it’s about 25 meters south of our house. I understood that was the house that had been bombed. I saw flames, black smoke and dust rising from it. It was only then that I saw a person lying on the pavement on the northern side of the street, towards the market. He was about 15 meters away from the bombed house. I started walking towards him and when I was about four meters away, I realized it was my brother Muayad. He was lying on his stomach, face down. His right leg was near his head. He was bleeding from the mouth and from the right side of his body. Before I managed to get to him, there was another strike, in almost exactly the same place. I ran home quickly, without thinking, and told the family Muayad had been killed. Those were very difficult moments. The women cried and screamed. My father went into shock. He only said, “My heart is broken,” and then sat down and started praying to God to have mercy on the martyr and ease our pain and suffering. When things calmed down, the whole family went to my maternal grandfather’s house. He lives close to us. Then my father and I went to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Ten minutes later, an ambulance brought my brother there. My father stayed sitting in the courtyard, and I went into the morgue to say goodbye to my brother and take one last look at him. We returned to my grandfather’s house and ten minutes later, an ambulance brought Muayad’s body there. We said goodbye to him in my grandfather’s house and buried him….After we buried my brother, we heard that the boy Ahmad al-Hawajri had been killed in the same strike, and that he had also been on his way to the grocery store on the street. Another resident from the neighborhood was badly injured. He suffered burns in various parts of his body, including the face. They say he was walking along the street near the house that was bombed. I visited him in hospital, and he told me he had been on his way to see a friend. Another young guy from the neighborhood suffered a leg injury and was transferred to Egypt for treatment. Seven houses near the one that was bombed were badly damaged. Muayad went to school until grade 12 and then went to work in construction with my father. The whole family relied on him. Anyone who needed anything would ask Muayad. He was also putting some of his salary away to build himself a room and a kitchen and bathroom, above the house, because he wanted to get married and start a family.”
Defence for Children reported that Ahmed Rami Mahoud Al-Hwairi was on his way home from the grocery store when the Israeli forces targeted a residential building in Al-Bureij refugee camp. According to the source, Ahmed was struck in the head by shrapnel and sustained burns all over his body.
Roya News published a statement by the news agency Wafa, identifying Ahmed Rami Mahoud Al-Hwair as an 8th-grade student at the Al-Breij Middle School for Boys.
A local source stated that the airstrikes were conducted without prior warning and that citizens were pulled from the rubble of a house belonging to the Al-Khatib family. A tweet from @paltimes2015 asserted that the attack targeted the home of the Al-Khatib family, local sources reported that the family home was destroyed and nearby houses damaged. Contradicting this reporting, Al Mezan news said two missiles struck the house of Ghasan Abdulmuti Abu Eyada destroying it and damaging surrounding houses.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights added that all casualties of the incident were taken to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah.
Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah Al-Wusta Region posted a memorial for Moayad Tayseer Al-Khateeb on their Facebook page. They did not specifically identify him as a member of the organization.
The Anadolu Agency reported that the strikes by Israeli warplanes also attacked a government post office building.
Al-Mayadeen reported that there were “many casualties” following strikes on Al-Bureij but did not specify which incident they could be attributed to.
The strike occoured at 3:20 pm local time.
The incident occured at approximately 3:20 pm local time.
- Ahmed Rami Mahoud Al-Hwairi 12 years old male killed
- Moayad Tayseer Al-Khateeb 21 years old male killed
Sources (36) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (4) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a residential building in Al Bureij camp (مخيم البريج), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.430000, 34.400000. The video posted by Shehab News Agency shows damage to a building at the following coordinates: 31.443354, 34.405597