Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

PALIS011

Incident date

May 11, 2021

Location

عسقلان, Ashkelon, Israel, Israel

Geolocation

31.667186, 34.557510 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two women were killed when a Hamas militant rocket struck an apartment building on Sderot David Ben Gurion street in the city of Ashkelon, southern Israel on May 11th, 2021, according to several sources.

The Times of Israel said, “the deadly rocket attack directly struck a home where an elderly woman and her caregiver, 32-year-old Soumya Santosh, lived. Santosh was killed while her elderly charge, 80, was hospitalized in serious condition, according to Hebrew media reports”.

On February 6, 2022, the elderly woman injured in the attack, Naomi Perlman, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who was seriously wounded at her Ashkelon home by shrapnel, died from her injuries.

According to several sources Santosh from Kerala had been living in Israel for seven years. She was survived by a husband and nine-year-old son.

Mrs Santosh’s brother-in-law told The Week India, “she was talking to her husband Santosh over a video call in the evening when the incident took place. My brother heard a huge sound during the video call. Suddenly the phone got disconnected. Then we immediately contacted fellow Malayalees working there. Thus, we came to know about the incident.”

The Washington Post reported that Naomi Pearlman was a “a Holocaust survivor originally from Poland” and that the blast had caused both of her legs to be amputated. Her son, Shuki, was quoted as saying “She survived the Holocaust, raised a wonderful family. If there was anyone who deserved to be called the ultimate survivor, it was her.”

Jerusalem Post added that Pearlman was being treated at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for the injuries she sustained in May 2021 and that she is survived by her son, her daughter, Tzipi, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, including one who was born last month. At the time of the shelling, her home did not have a shelter and the closest was a minute’s run away.

The incident was part of a series of rocket strikes on the morning of May 11th.
Channel 12 reported that the rocket shelter was at least a minute’s run away from the woman’s home and the did not manage to reach it in time.

Al-Qassam Brigades confirmed they carried out the strikes that resulted in casualties, posting in their Telegram channel that “A while ago, Al-Qassam Brigades bombarded occupied Ashkelon with a salvo of S40 missiles” and a bit later “The occupation officially acknowledges the killing of 2 of its [settlers] as a result of the recent Qassam bombing of Ashkelon.”

The incident is believed to have occurred between 05:00 and 13:40 local time.

The incident occured at approximately 6:00 am local time.

  • Soumya Santosh 32 years old female killed
  • Naomi Perlman 91 years old female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • This image reportedly shows Sumaya Santosh who died in a strike in Askelon, Israel, on May 11th, 2021 (image via @alqudsnewspaper)
  • Image reportedly showing the son of Soumya Santosh holding a pin of the Israeli and Indian flags at her funeral (image via Asaf Pozailov)
  • Image caption: The damage to the building where the woman who was killed in Ashkelon lived, today the photo (via Ofer Vaknin)
  • Rescue crews helping a victim of the strikes on Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by Arabic RT)
  • Rescue crews at a home affected by airstrikes on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by Shihab Post)
  • Damage to a home affected by airstrikes in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @PalinfoAr)
  • Damage to a home affected by airstrikes in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @PalinfoAr)
  • Damage to a home affected by airstrikes in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @PalinfoAr)
  • A heavily damaged house is pictured at a targeted residential neighbourhood in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 11, 2021, as rockets are fired by the Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. - Rockets fired from Gaza killed two women in the southern Israeli city of Asheklon, the Magen David Adom emergency service told AFP, after Palestinians militants unleashed a massive barrage. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)
  • Israeli security forces at the scene where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on May 11, 2021. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
  • A heavily damaged house is pictured at a targeted residential neighbourhood in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 11, 2021, as rockets are fired by the Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. - Rockets fired from Gaza killed two women in the southern Israeli city of Asheklon, the Magen David Adom emergency service told AFP, after Palestinians militants unleashed a massive barrage. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention an apartment building being struck in Ashkelon (אַשְׁקְלוֹן). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location of the strike to these exact coordinates: 31.667186, 34.557510.

  • Reports of the incident mention an apartment building being struck in Ashkelon (אַשְׁקְלוֹן).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    Ynet

  • Distribution of tags in available Google Street View imagery.

    Imagery:
    Google Maps

Palestinian Militants Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Palestinian Militants
  • Palestinian Militants position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

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12:46
A while ago, Al-Qassam Brigades bombarded occupied Ashkelon with a salvo of S40 missiles

12:58
The enemy admits that a building in Ashkelon was hit and several injuries occurred, including serious cases, as a result of the recent Qassamese bombing with Sejil missiles

13:14
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
The occupation officially acknowledges the killing of 2 of its [settlers] as a result of the recent Qassam bombing of Ashkelon


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Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 women)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (41) [ collapse]