Between three and five civilians were killed and another was injured in alleged Israeli airstrikes on a car near the Hamouda roundabout in Beit Lahiya on May 12, 2021. Sources refer to most of the men killed as members of Fatah but there is no direct association between them and militant activities. Only one of the men was alleged to be a member of a militant organization, Hamas.
According to Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), “at approximately 10:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a civilian car near Hamouda intersection, east of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, four were killed in the car and another one was wounded. Those killed were identified as: Tal’at Jameel Mahmoud Aghah (34), ‘Atif ‘Abed al-Rahman Jum’a al-Barawi (47), Nael Khaled Yunis al-Barawi (22), Wael Mahmoud Fares Al-Ghoula (47).”
A tweet from @husam_k2 reported that there were “3 martyrs” in the bombing while @mohammedddaya1identified four people as being killed. @pl24online added that those killed were taken to the Indonesian Hospital.
B’Tselem collected testimony from a ‘Imad Jneid, 36, a father of three who was working on the farm at the time of the incident, who said “On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, I arrived in the morning and started to work as usual. I opened the water valves to water the crops. I heard the loud sound of drones all the time. I was afraid something would happen, so I went inside the administration building. About half an hour later, ‘Atef al-Barawi, a contractor who to comes to harvest the crops, called me. He asked me to open the gate, which is about 350 meters from the building. I rode there on a donkey cart. ‘Atef came in together with two farmers who work with him, Tal’at and Nael. They went in and started picking apricots by the gate. At the same time, Wael al-Ghula, one of the farmers who works on the farm, called and asked me to pick him up from a gas station about 700 meters away from the farm. In the end, ‘Atef went to get him and we all picked peaches together. After that, I went to water some other trees. On the way, I did some weeding and kept the weeds for the donkey. Suddenly, I heard a loud explosion and felt a sharp pain in my left hand and stomach. I called out for someone to help me. I looked over towards the others and saw Wael, Nael, Tal’at and ‘Atef lying on the ground. I tried to get up and go to them, but I only managed to walk a few meters before I fell. I grabbed the door of ‘Atef’s car to get up, but then another missile landed. I tried to get up but fell again, so I crawled on. Then a third missile landed next to me. I kept crawling until I got to the building. I looked down and saw I was bleeding. I called my cousin on my mother’s side, Luai Jneid. I told him what had happened, and he called an ambulance that took me to the Indonesian Hospital. I had surgery on my stomach and they removed some shrapnel. I was hospitalized for nine days and then discharged.”
While PCHR and various other sources, including @MyPalestine0, refer to those killed as civilians and Raya News called them farmers, their status is contested by other sources. A tweet from @gaza_report identifies “five faction members are killed when a missile targets their vehicle Hamouda Roundabout” and @elderofziyon tweeted that the four named above were “Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members” but there is little evidence that a militant wing of Fatah is still active.
Various sources, including Fatah Al Asif themselves, identify between four and five of the victims as members of Fatah. Tal’at Jameel Mahmoud Aghah (34), ‘Atif ‘Abed al-Rahman Jum’a al-Barawi (47), Wael Mahmoud Fares Al-Ghoula (47), and Nael Khaled Yunis al-Barawi (22) are specifically named as members of Fatah on the Fatah Al Asif News Network and also in a Facebook post by Abo Jihad but are not referred to as fighters or militants. The “Fatah in the east of Gaza” published a statement “mourning the hand of this hero Wael Mahmoud Al Ghoula” and added that he was “the dearest of its loyal sons who worked in the first uprising in the movement committees and cells.”
The Israeli Defense Forces also released a statement naming only one of the victims, Mahmoud Fares, as the “Head of the Mechanics Desk at the Research, Development and Manufacturing Project” for Hamas. However, a post by Ijdida Martyrs on Facebook identified Fares as a member of Fatah as well, pointing out that other members of Fatah spoke at his funeral and “the Al-Ghoula family extended their thanks and appreciation to the brothers in the Fatah movement”.
The Israeli Defense Forces verified that they killed at least one of the victims of the bombing, Mahmoud Fares. They also mentioned five additional names, who the IDF claimed were Hamas militants: Thafer Shu, Majhad Hadidi, Akram Al’ata, Hassan Aki, Kamal Qu’arika.
However, they did not identify any of the others killed in their statement. All other sources that attributed responsibility for the incident blames Israel for the strikes.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Sources (36) [ collapse]
from sources (15) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a car being struck near Hamoda Roundabout (دوار حمودة) in Beit Lahiya (خان يونس) for which the generic coordinates are: 31.529039, 34.514730. Due to limited information available to Airwars we were unable to verify the location further.
Israeli Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
Senior Hamas Terror Organization Officials Neutralized by the IDF:
Mahmoud Fares, as the "Head of the Mechanics Desk at the Research, Development and Manufacturing Project" for Hamas