Civilian Casualties from Palestinian Militant Actions May 2021

A child uses his mobile device in the ruins of a building in Beit Lahia, Gaza Strip on May 26th 2021. © Mohamed Zaanoun

This resource presents Airwars’ assessments of civilian harm allegations in Israel resulting from reported Palestinian militant actions; as well as of civilian harm allegations in the Gaza Strip resulting from reported Palestinian rocket misfires during May 2021.

In the fourth major combat operation since 2008, Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fought a short but devastating conflict from May 10th to 20th 2021. Two Palestinian armed factions in Gaza –  Hamas’s armed wing al-Qassam, and Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, also known as the al-Quds Brigades – between them fired more than 4,300 rockets at Israel.

While most of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ defense system, our assessments show that those that did get through predominantly caused civilian harm in residential areas.

This database is part of a wider Airwars project examining drivers of civilian harm, which presents civilian harm in Israel resulting from Palestinian militant action alongside civilian harm likely caused by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip in May 2021; as well asby Israeli strikes in Syria from 2013 onwards.

Known civilian harm claims can be accessed via the ‘Civilian Casualties’ tabs above, while an overview of civilian harm resulting from Israeli strikes can be found via the drop-down menu under ‘Conflicts’ under ‘Israeli Military in Syria and the Gaza Strip’.

Length of Campaign
Palestinian Militant Strikes in Israel
Alleged civilian casualty incidents assessed

Airwars estimate of civilian deaths


Locally reported civilian deaths from declared or likely Palestinian Militant actions in Israel for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by Palestinian Militants. These originate from 32 separate alleged incidents.

2 children likely killed
5 women likely killed
104–164 likely injured
22 named victims

Palestinian Militants estimate of civilian deaths


Confirmed civilian deaths, from Palestinian Militant actions in Israel, originating from 7 separate incidents of civilian harm.

38–40 civilians confirmed injured

Alleged deaths 11

Locally reported civilian deaths from Palestinian Militants actions in Israel.

32 separate alleged incidents

Confirmed or fair
Confirmed: A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
Fair: Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Fair, or have been Confirmed by Palestinian Militants.

32 separate alleged incidents

Weak: Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.

Civilian deaths for which the reporting was assessed by Airwars as Weak.

0 separate alleged incidents

Contested: Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.

Civilian deaths for which the reporting is assessed by Airwars as Contested.

0 separate alleged incidents

Discounted: Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.

Civilian deaths were Discounted by Airwars after assessment.

0 separate alleged incidents