A father and teenage daughter were killed when an alleged Hamas rocket struck the village of Dahmash, south of Tel Aviv, in the early hours of May 12th, 2021, according to local and international media reports.
Khalil Awad, 52, and Nadin Awad, 16, were killed on Wednesday morning when a rocket fired from Gaza landed close to their home, said Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Arafat Ismail, Mr Khalil’s brother, told Ynet that the father and daughter were killed while they, and members of their family, were eating breakfast before dawn as part of the Ramadan fast. Aswat reports that Mrs. Awad and her eldest son and other daughter survived, and were taken to hospital for treatment as a result of the shock.
The status of the predominantly Arab village, which has a population of 1,000 residents, is subject to a relocation scheme. As such the population does not have access to publicly available shelters similar to those found elsewhere in Israel, according to Aswat.
Suzan Awad, the wife and mother of the victims, described the incident to Human Rights Watch: “Our village is totally neglected, and we don’t have basic services and infrastructure such as [bomb] shelters. The two nights before the attack, we didn’t know what to do and where to go. We ran in and out of the house and sometimes we ran into the street to look for shelter but there was no shelter in the area. We didn’t know where to hide…. That night, we couldn’t sleep from the sound of the rockets. The barrage of rockets in the neighbourhood was so heavy and strong and, as always, we didn’t know where to hide ourselves. Many times in this situation, we don’t feel safe staying at home, so we escape outside but without knowing where to go exactly. … That night, Khalil and Nadine were terrified, the sound of the rockets falling were so close, so they decided to leave the house and seek protection outside at the entrance of the house. We live in a ground-floor home with only three steps at the entrance, so they decided to stand at the stairs and stick to the wall. They did that because we always hear that, in this kind of situation, it’s recommended to hide in the stairway, but we do not have a stairway. The only stairs we have are three steps at the entrance. But the rocket fell on the ground outside, next to the entrance where they stood, a few meters from them. It killed them immediately. It also caused huge damage to our house”.
Claims that residents of the village had requested protection prior to the strike were refuted by the Sdot Dan local council, according to Haaretz.
Mrs Awad told Human Rights Watch her husband was “a loving, giving, and modest man” who worked hard to provide for his family. She described her daughter as an outstanding student who dreamt of becoming a doctor. Following the incident the father and daughter were taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital where they were pronounced dead, reported Almadar.
The Times of Israel described Hamas as being behind the attack.
Aswat reported that shrapnel from the strike caused severe damage to neighboring houses and injured ten heads of sheep. Images from the scene also showed extensive damage to several parked cars.
The incident occurred at approximately 03:00.
The incident occured at approximately 3:00 am local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (2)
- Khalil Awad 52 years old male killed
- Nadin Awad 16 years old female killed
Sources (40) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention house being struck in the village of Dahmash (دهمش) near the city of Lod (اللد), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.943672, 34.849476. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.