Up to four civilians were reported killed when an alleged Israeli forces’ airstrike hit the Zarab building, Al Saraya junction, Gaza, at approximately 3am on May 19th 2021. According to some sources, as many as three other civilians were also injured. The building was an apartment in the vicinity of Al-Shahada Street in the Al-Rimal neighbourhood.
Local sources on social media report the dead as Ahmed Al-Haddad, Hassan Salem, and Omar Al-Mankoush. Some sources, such as PCHR Gaza News have referred to Hassan Salem as Husni Muhammad Ali Salmen. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre reported that in some social media reports Omar Al-Mankoush has also been referred to as Omar Amin Al-Kurdi and there are various sources which refer to him using either name.
There were various reports of different numbers of fatalities in the aftermath of the attack and throughout the rest of the day. Some sources such as @Osamaas9 reported on social media that there was “a martyr and a number of injuries”, whilst @Qudsn_Brk said that there were “two martyrs as a result of the Israeli bombing”. Both the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Al Mezan reported on May 19th 2021 and named only one dead, Omar Al-Mankoush.
Reports followed, including from Shehab Agency and Amad News that “the numbers of martyrs of the bombing of an apartment near Al-Shuhada Street in Gaza City has risen to 4” and that “media sources reported that 4 martyrs and injuries arrived at Al-Shifa Medical Complex”. Reporting on two of those that were killed, Amad News said that “the sources said that one of the martyrs died inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex from his injuries after the apartment was bombed, and the other one was pulled out of the apartment on Al-Shuhada Street.”
The following details were found in the sources about the alleged victims of this event:
Hassan Salem: Hassan Salem, also referred to as Husni Muhammad Ali Salmen, was either 19 or 20 years old. Hosam Salem, a freelance photojournalist, reported from Hassan Salem’s funeral and added photos to his social media page including family members and others gathered in front of a covered body. The caption states “friends and relatives attend the funeral of a man in Gaza City, May 19 2021, who was killed during Israeli strikes on an apartment building overnight.” A local source has re-posted these photos and wrote “the funeral of the cousin of Getman: Hassan Salem.”
Omar Al-Mankoush: Omar Al-Mankoush was described by local sources as a 20 year old man. One source referred to Omar as being just 16 years old. There were reports from loved ones of Omar Al-Mankoush who left messages on social media in his memory. For example, ISLAMHABIB6 said he was “orphaned at the age of two years, as he lost his parents in a traffic accident at the time. He lived alone with his brother until he was 20 years old. He studied a vocational diploma to learn the maintenance of smart phones. His dream was to master the profession he dreamed of, but his soul left this morning to join his parents martyr.” Another source, Naser Dinaki, wrote “May God have mercy on Omar and accept him as a martyr who died in Gaza, the honourable, the pure.”
In some early reports, Omar Al-Mankoush was apparently mistakenly referred to as his brother, Bilal Al-Monkoush. A local source tweeted news from the Gaza Medical Investigation Department which said “after circulating the news about the martyrdom of the citizen Bilal Al-Mankoush, we found out that the aforementioned was injured, and that his brother, who was martyred, was named Omar Muhammad Amin Al-Mankoush. Despite this, The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information centre reported that “the social networks reported the death of Bilal Abu Al-Mankush, a high-ranking operative in PIJ’s military wing.”
Other sources refer to the deceased as Omer Ameen Al Kurdi.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre also reports that “a mourning tent was erected for him at the family home near the Abu Hanifa al Naman mosque in the Al-Awa neighbourhood of Gaza city. A video taken at the tent shows several Hamas flags, a possible indication of a clan connection to the movement (Facebook page of his brother, Muhammad Amin Al-Kurdi, May 21 2021) However, no information has been found to confirm he was a Hamas operative.”
A local source, @Bani_Basel reported that the targeting of this apartment was “without prior notice.” Pngoportal News also reported that there was “severe damage done to the building and the neighbouring residential houses.” A local source, @AlOstouraNesma, reports that the attack that hit Al-Shahada Street was by a “Quad-Capter drone that entered through the window of the house and exploded inside”
The incident occured at approximately 3:00 am local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (2)
The victims were named as:
Sources (45) [ collapse]
from sources (36) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the Zorob building (عمارة زعرب), allegedly located in vicinity of Al Shahada street (شقة سكنية) in Al Remal (الرمال) neighborhood. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Shahada street are: 31.520819, 34.439922.