Three men were killed and one to four others were injured in an Israeli airstrike in the Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, around 19:15 on 16th May 2021.
Multiple sources report the deaths of Moaz Nabil al-Zaanin, aged 23, Mohamed Awni Al-Zaanin, aged 25 and Muhammad Yusuf Al-Kafarneh, aged 31 in the strike. Bassam Al Mawy, writing on Facebook, described the three men as friends. Although Al Watan Voice describes them as “citizens”, Palestinian Islamic Jihad identified all three as members of the militant group.
Sources are not consistent as to the level of injuries in the strike, with @NnnoMmmo and Shihab Post citing one critical injury, and Aqsa TV Channel giving a figure of four injuries.
According to Al Khabar news, the Israeli airstrike hit the house of Moaz al-Zaanin, killing the three men instantly. Al Watan Voice has described the strike as taking place near a Qassam site, suggesting that the strike may have been directed towards military infrastructure.
Moaz Al-Zaanin was a professional football player, playing with Beit Hanoun Sports Club and Jabalia Services, and was a member of the Palestinian national football team. The Palestine Football Association quoted His Excellency Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation, who said: “Al-Zaanin had a great enthusiasm for the game, and the Asian football family shares with me the sadness of the loss of another young talent who passed away at an early age.”
Various Palestinian sources claim that all three men were members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). @AhmedAboShnb1 writing on Twitter noted that all three were members of an artillery unit of Saraya Al-Quds, PIJ’s paramilitary wing, while the Saraya Al-Quds website post pictures of all three men in PIJ uniform, describing each of them as ‘shahid mujahid’, a common formulation used to describe militia-members killed in combat.
All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to Israel.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (61) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the Al Zeitoun (الزيتون) neighbourhood of Beit Hanoun (بيت حانون), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.537061, 34.526397. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.