Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT057

Incident date

May 14, 2021

Location

مخيم البريج, Al Bureij camp, The Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.441576, 34.402301 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

A civilian was killed and up to 16 others injured in Israeli strikes targeting two houses in Gaza’s Al Bureij refugee camp, multiple sources reported.

The civilian killed was identified as Mahmoud Muhammad Ismail Al-Khalidi. Two sources said he was passing by the house of Ayman Nofal when it was hit by at least four missiles, while Al Haq said he was inside the house. The Times of Israel, citing Al Araby TV, described Nofal as commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, which is Hamas’ armed wing. Fateh movement posted a memorial for Mahmoud but did not identify whether he was a member of any organizations.

B’Tselem provided testimony from Ahmad Khaled, 21, Mahmoud’s brother: “On Friday, 14 May 2021, around midday, I was at home. Our building has two apartments. One is mine and in the other, my parents live with my brother Mahmoud and his wife, who’s five months pregnant, and their daughter Ahlam, who’s a year and a half old. At around 1:30 P.M., Mahmoud came back from the bakery at the entrance to a-Nuseirat Refugee Camp where he’d been working for the last year. He wanted to have lunch quickly, so he could buy groceries at the market before he had to get back to work. A few minutes after he went out, I heard fighter jets bomb the camp. The sound was terrifying and very loud. The neighbors said the strike was aimed at the home of Ayman Nofal, who’s a Hamas operative, and at the home of the ‘Issa family, whose sons also belong to Hamas. I went outside immediately, because Ayman’s house is very close to ours. I saw that the house was in ruins. There were many civilians there searching for wounded people under the rubble. I joined them and we got several wounded people out, including an unconscious baby, an elderly man who had been injured in the head, a woman who was injured in her hands and face, and a guy who was injured in the chest. They were carried to Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances, except for one guy who was evacuated in a civilian car. I went back home. About two hours passed and my brother Mahmoud still hadn’t come back. We started worrying about him and I called the bakery where he worked, but they told me he hadn’t returned. At the same time, we heard on the news that there was an unidentified martyr from al-Bureij Refugee Camp at a-Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital. I went with my uncle Khalil, 62, and his two sons, Isma’il and Zeid, to the hospital and we asked to see the body. When they opened the refrigerator, I saw a body that was completely mutilated, especially around the head and face. I looked at his pants and checked the left hand, because one of Mahmoud’s fingers was cut off at the tip. Then I recognized it was my brother. I blacked out and didn’t know what was going on around me. I woke up at home, surrounded by some of my friends. We later found out that the rescue teams had located Mahmoud while I was searching for wounded people under the rubble. They found him inside warehouses under a nearby house, about six meters away from the house that had been bombed. He’d probably been passing by the house as the missile hit it and was blown away by the force of the blast. The warehouse doors were completely destroyed. We buried my brother the next day, in the cemetery of al-Bureij Refugee Camp. His hobby was hand wrestling and he was a large, strong man. He’d been into bodybuilding since he was 14 and worked out regularly. Mahmoud provided for my parents. My father used to work as a driver, but a few years ago he got sick and stopped working. Mahmoud worked every spare moment to support the family. He didn’t belong to any faction or political organization.”

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights also reported 15 injuries as a result of this, including four women and two children, which the latter said were minor to medium. Al Haq put the number of injuries at lower; it reported ten injured civilians, but included the same number of women and children who it said had been in a neighbouring house at the time of the strike.

A further injury was reported by a single source as result of an airstrike on the second house. This house reportedly belong to Marwan Issa, and was hit in the same camp five minutes after, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. He has been described as the deputy commander of Al-Qassam. This incident is also recorded here due to the close time and location proximity.

The Israeli military has not confirmed reports of airstrikes targeting Ayman Nofal or Marwan Issa. The reporting around this event does not indicate that either men were killed.

Nearby houses also reportedly sustained damage.

The incident occured at 1:40 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–16
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Palestinian Forces

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (16) [ collapse]

  • Translated image caption: The martyrdom of Cousin Mahmoud Muhammad Ismail Al-Khalidi May God accept you and have mercy on him, Hamada (via Mohammed Al Khaldi)
  • Translated image caption: Occupation warplanes destroyed a house for the Nofal family in the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip (via @mubaidin_rashed)
  • Image of Mahmoud Muhammad Ismail Al-Khalidi, who was reportedly killed in a May 14th, 2021 Israeli airstrike (image via Jamil Al Sous)
  • Image of young man killed on May 14th, 2021 as a result of an alleged Israeli strike on a house (image via Khaled al Dura)
  • Image of the young man killed in a reported Israeli airstrike. He may have been in or passing the house hit (image via Mohammed Mubarak Al Khaldi)
  • Image caption: The moment a house was targeted in the Bureij camp in the central Gaza Strip (image via @fadelmghari)
  • Image caption: The moment a house was targeted in the Bureij camp in the central Gaza Strip (image via @fadelmghari)
  • Image caption: The moment a house was targeted in the Bureij camp in the central Gaza Strip (image via @fadelmghari)
  • Image reportedly showing the destruction caused by an Israeli airstrike on May 14th, 2021 in Al Bureij camp (image via @HearGaza24)
  • Image reportedly showing the destruction caused by an Israeli airstrike on May 14th, 2021 in Al Bureij camp (image via @HearGaza24)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image reportedly showing the remains of a young man killed on May 14th, 2021 (image via Um Rouhi)
  • Caption: A video of the Nofel family’s house completely destroyed by the Israeli occupation warplanes and the surrounding homes in Al Bureij camp in central Gaza Strip
  • Image of Mahmoud Muhammad Al-Khalidi "Hamada", killed in strikes on Al-Bureij camp on May 14, 2021. (Image posted by Fateh movement)
  • Image of the funeral for Mahmoud Muhammad Al-Khalidi "Hamada", killed in strikes on Al-Bureij camp on May 14, 2021. (Image posted by Fateh movement)
  • Image of the funeral for Mahmoud Muhammad Al-Khalidi "Hamada", killed in strikes on Al-Bureij camp on May 14, 2021. (Image posted by Fateh movement)
  • Image of the funeral for Mahmoud Muhammad Al-Khalidi "Hamada", killed in strikes on Al-Bureij camp on May 14, 2021. (Image posted by Fateh movement)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Nofal family house in the Al Bureij camp (مخيم البريج). Analyzing visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 31.441576, 34.402301. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to further verify the location of the Issa family house.

  • Reports of the incident mention the Nofal family house in the Al Bureij camp (مخيم البريج).

    Imagery:
    Soar

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    @HearGaza24

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
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–16
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Palestinian Forces

Sources (35) [ collapse]