Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT048

Incident date

May 13, 2021

Location

أم النصر, Um Al Nasser, The Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.561191, 34.519796 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

An intense barrage of Israeli missiles were fired into Um Alnsar Village, also known as Al Badawiya village, in Northern Gaza. Three missiles penetrated the walls of the Nassar Abu Fares family home, whilst reportedly 25 people were in the living room celebrating Eid al-Fitr, killing at least seven civilians and injuring at least twelve according to multiple sources.

According to several sources, those killed in the attack included; 27 year old Sabreen Nasser Mohammed Abu Dayyeh, her nine month old son Muhammad Salama Abu Dayyeh, and her sisters 25 year old Nisreen Naser Mohammed Abu Qleeq and 17 year old Fawzia Nasser Abu Fares. According to additional sources, a 47 year old woman named Nima Saleh Salama Ayyash was killed in the attack, as well as a 20 year old man named Hashim Mohammed ‘Ayed al-Zugheibi. A number of sources also reported that a woman named Nasreen Nasser Abu Fares was killed, however they did not provide an age, therefore it cannot be ruled out that this is an alternative name for 25 year old Nisreen Naser Mohammed Abu Qleeq.

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights claimed that 25 civilians were injured. Another local source claimed that 15 civilians were injured, whilst another source named some of those injured as; Hussein Muhammad Abu Qaliq who sustained shrapnel injuries to his neck, arm and back, Dia Muhammed Abu Qaliq, Mujahid Hussein Abu Qaliq, Hazem Muhammad Al-Zughaibi, Yazan Hazem Al-Zoughaibi, Mahmoud Abdel Aziz Ishtiwi, and Israa Nasser Abu Fares. Another source reported that two of those injured were children of the Abu Fares Family, named as six year old Hamza and five year old Malak.

B’Tselem provided testimony from Naser Abu Fares, 50, father of 12, who lost three daughters and a grandson in the incident: “On Thursday, 13 May 2021, at around 6:30 P.M., I was sitting at my neighbors’ when suddenly, I heard two shells fall. I didn’t know where they’d landed, but I saw smoke billowing out of my first house. I ran over there quickly with my friends, but before we even got there, a third shell landed right next to us. I went inside the house, but it was full of smoke and dust so I couldn’t see who was hurt. I heard my neighbors say a shell had also landed on the home of our neighbors, the ‘Ayash family. They said Ni’mah ‘Ayash had been killed and that another shell had landed on the street and hit a resident named Hashem a-Zgheibi. I continued searching the house. I found my daughters. Some of them were dismembered. My sons were wounded and there was blood everywhere. When I saw that, I blacked out for a few minutes. The neighbors woke me up, and then I found out that my daughters Sabrin, 27, Nisrin and Fawzeyeh, as well as Sabrin’s nine-month-old son Muhammad Abu Diyah, had been killed. Sabrin doesn’t live with us. She’s married and lives with her husband, but she was visiting us that day. An ambulance came and took everyone to the Indonesian Hospital. I followed them in my car, which had also been damaged in the shelling. On the way, I saw people evacuating their homes because of the shelling and fleeing the area. I barely made it to the hospital. I had to identify my daughters. I asked a doctor where they were, and he led me to a refrigerator to identify them. I searched among the dismembered body parts and clothes in the fridge. A forensic doctor who came there arranged the body parts so I could identify them. It was unbearable. I couldn’t take it, especially when he laid their parts out next to each other so I could identify my daughters and the baby. We buried them the next day, with some relatives and friends in attendance. It wasn’t a regular funeral because everyone was anxious about the airstrikes. It was scary. The bombings didn’t stop. My daughter Israa didn’t come because she was in hospital. She’s still in the ICU. She’s injured in the chest, head, back and leg.  From the hospital, I went with the rest of my family to al-Khalifah School in Beit Lahiya. Our house was in ruins. We had nowhere to go back to, and we were also afraid to go back there. We can’t bear to look at the walls, either. They still have traces of blood and bits of flesh on them. We had a rough time at the school. There was no food or drink, and there were no mattresses. The situation was bad and we couldn’t buy food or drink. We didn’t have any extra clothes, either. The war ended on Friday, and then I rented another house and my family moved there. I never thought something like this would happen to me, that I’d lose my daughters like that.”

Isma’il ‘Ayash al-Khatib, 50, Ni’amah’s brother, also provided testimony: “On Thursday, 13 May 2021, at around 6:30 P.M., I was in my apartment with my mother Hamdiya, 75, my sister Ni’mah, 47, and my married sister Sarah, who was visiting my mother for the holiday. Our neighbors Jamileh a-Zgheibi and her daughter-in-law were at our place, too. They were all sitting in the garden and I was inside. It was the first day of ‘Eid al-Fitr. Suddenly, I heard a series of explosions and saw smoke, dust and flames. I heard screaming and windows shattering. I ran to the garden to see if my mother and sisters were okay, and saw debris on the staircase. I thought it might have been a warning missile, so I got everyone inside quickly. My sister Ni’mah went into my apartment and up the stairs to the first floor. My sister Sarah, the neighbor Jamileh and her daughter-in-law went into my apartment, and I helped my mother come in there, too. Just then, I heard three more explosions in a row. I grabbed some personal documents and we ran out of the house, which collapsed. I went out to the street and saw it was full of rubble and lumps of concrete. I heard screaming and crying and saw injured people lying on the ground. The street was in ruins. It was full of blood and dust and smoke. It was an unbearable sight. There were also ambulances and rescue teams. I ran away, supporting my mother. We walked about a hundred meters until we got to the ambulances. They couldn’t reach the entrance to our house. My mother, my wife and I were taken to the Indonesian Hospital. I didn’t see my sister Ni’mah, and didn’t know what had happened to her. I assumed she’d made it out. I saw my sister Sarah and our neighbor Jamileh and her daughter-in-law running away. I saw that Naser Abu Fares’ house next door was completely destroyed. I saw people trying to extract bodies from the ruins. At the hospital, I looked for my sister Ni’mah. I searched the wards and after an hour and a half, I found her in the refrigerator. She had been killed by shrapnel in the stairwell. I heard Hashem a-Zgheibi, who had been hit by shrapnel from a shell that landed by our front door, was also dead. Later, I heard Naser Abu Fares had lost three of his daughters and his grandson.”

One source reported that in the past Israeli military had warned residents in rural areas to evacuate before operations, but that in this case they were given no warning. According to one source more than 5,000 people, approximately half of whom children, were sheltering in the UNRWA run school located in Beit Lahia´s Mashrou’ neighborhood, the majority of whom were displaced from Umm An-Naser village on May 13 due to the intense barrage of Israeli missiles.

Multiple sources placed the time of the incident at either 6.15pm or 6.30pm.

The incident occured at approximately 6:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (6)

  • Sabreen Nasser Mohammed Abu Dayyeh 27 years old female Mother of Muhammad Salama Abu Dayyeh killed
  • Muhammad Salama Abu Dayyeh 9 months years old male child of Sabreen Nasser Mohammed Abu Dayyeh killed
  • Nisreen Naser Mohammed Abu Qleeq 25 years old female Sister of Sabreen Nasser Mohammed Abu Dayyeh killed
  • Fawzia Nasser Abu Fares 17 years old female Sister of Sabreen Nasser Mohammed Abu Dayyeh killed
  • Hamza 6 years old male injured
  • Malak 5 years old male injured
  • Nima Saleh Salama Ayyash 47 years old female killed
  • Hashim Mohammed ‘Ayed al-Zugheibi 20 years old male killed
  • Hussein Muhammad Abu Qaliq Age unknown injured
  • Dia Muhammed Abu Qaliq Age unknown injured
  • Mujahid Hussein Abu Qaliq Age unknown injured
  • Hazem Muhammad Al-Zughaibi Age unknown injured
  • Yazan Hazem Al-Zoughaibi Age unknown injured
  • Mahmoud Abdel Aziz Ishtiwi Age unknown injured
  • Israa Nasser Abu Fares Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 8
  • (2 children3–4 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–25
  • 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 (39) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Hussein Muhammad Abu Qaliq who sustained shrapnel injuries to his neck, arm and back in an Israeli missile strike on Um Alnsar Village on May 13th 2021. (image via The Guardian)
  • Damage to a building from an Israeli missile strike on Um Alnsar Village on May 13th 2021. (image via Shihab)
  • Isma'il Ayash on the stairs of his family's home, destroyed in strikes on Beit Lahia on May 13, 2021. (Image posted by B'Tselem)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Um Al Nasser (أم النصر). Due to limited satellite information and imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Um Al Nasser are: 31.561191, 34.519796.

  • Reports of the incident mention the village of Um Al Nasser (أم النصر).

    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 and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 8
  • (2 children3–4 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–25
  • 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 (39) [ collapse]