Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

PALIS004

Incident date

May 11, 2021

Location

ريشون لتسيون, Rishon Letzion, Israel

Geolocation

31.988594, 34.783657 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One woman was killed and another woman died later from a heart attack and others were injured when a Hamas rocket fired from Gaza struck a private home in Rishon Letzion, near Tel Aviv on May 11th, 2021, according to local reports.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs named the primary victim as Leah Yom Tov, 63.

In a Facebook post on May 16th, Moshe Lev Tov (her son), said Mrs Yom Tov’s death had been the result of a direct hit on her home.

A tweet from @AAhronheim identified three others injured in addition to the woman killed while Al-ain News reported on “two serious and moderate injuries in Rishon LeZion”. The Magen David Adom medical service said its staff provided medical treatment to two additional people suffering from anxiety related ailments. it is unclear if these injuries overlap.

The Magen David Adom medical service posted a statement from two of their staff: “Upon our arrival at the scene we were taken to a private house. At the entrance we saw lots of damage. There was a 40 year old woman lying nearby. She was unresponsive and had severe injuries. We performed medical assessments and were forced to pronounce her as deceased”.

On August 12th, 2021, Human Rights Watch published an article examining the circumstances of Leah Yom Tov’ death. In it they included a statement by the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stating that on the evening of May 11th they (the al-Qassam Brigades) had “directed the largest rocket barrage toward Tel Aviv and its surrounding areas, with 130 rockets, in response to the enemy’s targeting of civilian buildings.” Multiple local sources including Elaph News and Paldf News attributed this rocket to Hamas, but other sources stated that “a missile fell” without specifying the belligerent.

The article also featured a statement from her son, Kfir Yom Tov: “My mother retired two years ago and was flourishing. Her life was filled with everything she loved to do. She was very spiritual and thanked God for each day. She supported peace and saw the positive and good side in every human being. She knew how to connect with others and develop good relations with them. She took care of everyone. She was a very giving person. She was studying natural health and wanted to enhance other people’s lives by advising them on good nutrition and thinking positively about their lives.”

Kfir Yom Tov told Human Rights Watch about his experience of arriving at the scene following the incident, saying: “When I heard the sirens and the sound of the heavy barrage of rockets in the area, I called her to check on her, but she didn’t answer. I drove to her house. The street was closed, and it was full of soldiers, police, and paramedics. It took them a while to identify her and confirm that she had been killed. She was a person of giving, and the emptiness and space she left behind is hard to describe”.

Ynet reported that shortly after the incident a woman who had been interviewed by media crews at the scene suffered a heart attack and died. Walla News named the woman as 76-year-old Ilana Cohen. Her husband Yosef told the outlet that after the explosion IIana had felt unwell and was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital where she was pronounced dead at around 2 p.m.

The incident occurred at about 8 p.m.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Leah Yom-Tov 63 years old female killed
  • Ilana Cohen 76 years old female Heart attack killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Causes of injury / death
    Accidents related to conflict, Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • Damage to a home in Rishon Letzion following strikes on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @Qudsn_Brk)
  • A car suffered damage in Rishon Letzion following strikes on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @hassaneslayeh)
  • Damage from strikes that killed Leah Yom-Tov, pictures right, on May 11th, 2021. (Image posted by Paldf)
  • Damage to a home in Rishon Letzion following strikes on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @maniefabian)
  • Image of Leah Yom-Tov, killed in strikes on Rishon Letzion on May 11th, 2021. (Image posted by @AviMayer)
  • Image of Leah Yom-Tov, killed in strikes on Rishon Letzion on May 11th, 2021. (Image posted by Haaretz)
  • Rocket hit area in Rishon Lezion. Photo: Moti Milrod, posted by Haaretz
  • Image of the family of Leah Yom-Tov, killed in strikes on Rishon Letzion on May 11th, 2021. (Image posted by her son Moshe)
  • The late Ilana Cohen and her husband Yosef (Photo: courtesy of the family, posted by Mynet Rison)
  • Damage to a home in Rishon Letzion following strikes on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by Walla News)
  • Image of Leah Yom-Tov, killed in strikes on Rishon Letzion on May 11th, 2021. (Image posted by N12 News)

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in Rishon Letzion (ראשון לציון). Analyzing visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 31.988594, 34.783657.

  • Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in Rishon Letzion (ראשון לציון).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    @Qudsn_Brk

  • Distribution of tags in available Google Street View imagery.

    Imagery:
    Google Maps

Palestinian Militants Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Palestinian Militants
  • Palestinian Militants position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

11:14: Al-Qassam Brigades launched the largest missile strike to date on the occupied cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, in response to the enemy's continued targeting of safe houses and resistance men, and the coming is greater, God willing.

11:25: The response continues.. Al-Qassam launches the largest missile strike so far
https://alqassam.ps/arabic/news/details/16732

Abu Obeida, "The Military Spokesman for the Qassam Brigades" 05/11/2021 12:08:51
In a missile strike, the largest of its kind, the Al-Qassam Brigades targeted Ashdod and Ashkelon this afternoon with 137 heavy-caliber missiles within 5 minutes, and we still have a lot in store.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–3
  • Causes of injury / death
    Accidents related to conflict, Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (35) [ collapse]