Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0449

Incident date

October 22, 2023

Location

منزل عائلة أبو معيلق في دير البلح وسط القطاع, Abu Mu’eileq home, Deir al-Balah, Gaza Strip, Deir al-Balah, the Gaza Strip

Airwars assessment

At 12pm on Sunday, October 22nd 2023, between 22 and 31 civilians, including at least 11 children and eight women, were killed and others were injured after an alleged Israeli airstrike on the homes of the Abu Muailiq family in Deir Al-Balah, which is located in the middle of the Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International reported that three homes belonging to the Abu Muailiq brothers and their families were hit by an alleged Israeli airstrike. The incident took place south of Wadi Gaza, where residents of northern Gaza had been ordered to relocate on October 13th, 2023.

Amnesty International has identified the US-made Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), as the bomb used during the strike based on images of fragments of the munition found at the scene of the incident. Amnesty International weapons experts have estimated that the JDAM used weighed “at least 1000 lbs” and was likely manufactured in 2018.

Dr Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq posted to Facebook detailing those killed during the incident. His wife, 44-year-old Islam Majed Kamel Abu Muailiq, also known as Umm Ghanam, was killed along with their four children: Duaa Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq (daughter, 16), Lama Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq (daughter, aged 11), Muhammad Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq (son, aged 13) and Ghanem Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq (son, aged 14)

The sister of Islam Abu Muailiq, Samar Majid Kamel Abu Muailiq, was also killed during the strike along with her five children: Rahaf Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq (daughter, aged 19), Raneem Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq (daughter, aged 17), Raghad Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq (daughter, aged 14), Sami Omar Youssef Abu Mailiq (son, aged 10) and Youssef Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq (son, aged 5).

Shorouk Majod Kamel Abu Muailiq, the sister of both Islam and Samar, was killed with her three children in the airstrike: Souad Hossam Ibrahim Salem (daughter, aged 9), Aya Hossam Ibrahim Salem (daughter, aged 7) and Ibrahim Hossam Ibrahim Salem (son, aged 6). 48-year-old Youlia Nicola Abu Muailiq, who was reported to be a Russian citizen, also died during the incident along with her daughter Dr. Lina Sami Abu Mualiq who was 23 years old.

The airstrike also killed numerous other members of the Abu Muailiq family including 22-year-old Kareem Yousef Salem Abu Muailiq and his 34-year-old brother Amar Yousef Salem Abu Muailiq, a 60-year-old woman called Raisa Abdullah Sulayman Abu Muailiq and Saheed Abdel Karim Mustafa Abu Muailiq, along with an unnamed woman referred to as the wife of Abu Ahed. The neighbour of the Abu Muailiq household – a 39-year-old man named Rajab Ghaz Mezyed – also died as a result of the strike.

Amnesty International reported that 19 people were killed in the incident, however, Airwars has identified 23 names of individuals reported as killed amongst sources. In line with Airwars methodology, the minimum number of civilians killed is 23, as 23 names were identified. The highest civilian casualty count was reported by Duaa Jarghon, in a post on Facebook, who wrote that Umm Ghanem and 30 other members of the Abu Mu’eileq family had been killed.

Amnesty International found no evidence that the homes of Abu Mu’eileq had any military purpose, or that Hamas was engaged in civilian ‘shielding’ at this location. The NGO described the strike as ‘unlawful’. Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, publicly announced that the incident was a ‘wake-up’ call for the Biden Administration into the role that US-made munitions are having in facilitating civilian casualties in Gaza.

@Al-BusairsAbuAli posted a video to Facebook showing the aftermath of the airstrike. It shows civilians digging through the rubble of demolished buildings, and carrying the remains of those killed during the incident. It is claimed ‘dozens’ were killed during the strike. @ShebabAgency posted a video to ‘X’ (formerly Twitter) that showed the bodies of four young children that were killed during the strike. Their names had been written onto their bodies while they were alive so that they could be identified if they were killed.

In an interview with Amnesty International, Dr Bakir Youssef Abu Muailiq – an ear, nose and throat specialist – said that he was working at the hospital when the airstrike that killed his wife and four children took place. Dr Bakr said there was no justification for the strike, and reaffirmed that his family was non-political: “we are doctors and scientists”. His statement aligns with Amnesty International’s assessment that there was no military objective to carrying out a strike on the Abu Muailiq households.

Samaher Abu Muailiq, the brother-in-law of Islam, told Amnesty International that he left the building a minute before it was struck. He reportedly sustained injuries to the neck and the back when he was thrown against a door by the force of the blast. Survivors of the incident told Amnesty International that no warning was given.

Since the incident, heartfelt testimonials have been posted online. @Abu Fares Ghareeb, posting on behalf of the “14 Million Conference”, commiserated the death of Islam Abu Muailiq and her children on Facebook, praising Islam’s kindness and good character. Islam was a member of the conference’s follow-up committee and the conference’s coordinator in the Gaza Strip.

Wesam Waleed, a member of the Abu Muailiq family, described a “tiring and exhausting night” where he did not sleep due to his heartbreak.

Amnesty International sent questions regarding the two attacks to the Israeli military’s spokesperson unit on 21 November. At the time of the publication of the Amnesty International report on December 5, 2023, no response had been received.

The names of 12 victims have been matched with the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of names, ages and IDs of victims published on October 26, 2023.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces.

Due to the scale and urgency of Airwars’ assessment process, all images have been automatically uploaded to each assessment with the graphic filter applied to protect users. We have also included all images identified from the sources, which may also include any imagery of combatants.

The incident occured at 12:00:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (24)

Islam Majed Kamel Abu Muailiq اسلام ماجد كامل ابو معيلق
44 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 951437193
Duaa Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq دعاء بكر يوسف ابو معيلق
16 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 424629749
Ghanem Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq غانم بكر يوسف ابو معيلق
14 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 426486825
Muhammad Bakr Yusuf Abu Muailiq محمد بكر يوسف ابو معيلق
13 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 430541748
Lama Bakr Youssef Abu Muailiq لما بكر يوسف ابو معيلق
11 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 430421164
Samar Majid Kamel Abu Muailiq سمر ماجد كامل ابو معيلق
43 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 991205915
Rahaf Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq رهف عمر يوسف ابو معيلق
20 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 408950129
Raneem Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq رنيم عمر يوسف ابو معيلق
17 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 424350197
Raghad Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq, رغد عمر يوسف ابو معيلق
15 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 427482278
Sami Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq سامي عمر يوسف ابو معيلق
10 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 434013314
Youssef Omar Youssef Abu Muailiq يوسف عمر يوسف ابو معيلق
6 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 440524478
Shorouk Majid Kamel Abu Muailiq شروق ماجد كامل ابو معيلق
Adult female killed
Souad Hossam Ibrahim Salem سعاد حسام ابراهيم سالم
9 years old female killed
Aya Hossam Ibrahim Salem اية حسام ابراهيم سالم
7 years old female killed
Ibrahim Hossam Ibrahim Salem ابراهيم حسام ابراهيم سالم
6 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 437210867
Youlia Vladimir Nicola Abu Muailiq يوليا فلاديمير نيكولا ابو معيلق
48 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 412257214
Lina Sami Abu Muailiq لينا ابو معيلق
23 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 405968447
Kareem Abu Muailiq كريم ابو معيلق
22 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 406131284
Amar Abu Muailiq عمار ابو معيلق
34 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 802484758
Raisa Abu Muailiq رئيسة ابو معيلق
60 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 925052938
Saheed Abdel Karim Mustafa Abu Muailiq سهيد عبد الكريم مصطفى ابو معيلق
killed
Wife of Abu Ahed زوجة ابو عاهد
Adult male killed
Samaher Abu Muailiq
male injured
Rajab Ghaz Mezyed رجب غازي رجب ابو مزيد
39 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 411954894

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22 – 31
  • (11–12 children8 women3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    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
    Israeli Military

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (30) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Bilal Abu Safwan
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mohammad Amin
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mohammad Amin
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mohammad Amin
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abu Fares Ghareeb
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Nedal Jamal
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abu Saqr Abu Maleeq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Muhammad Taha
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Nader Adel Abu Shaaban
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Kholoud Abu Muallaq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ihsan Amin
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @elhashmy5
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Weesam Waleed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Weesam Waleed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Weesam Waleed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Weesam Waleed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Weesam Waleed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Weesam Waleed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Amnesty International Report
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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Israeli Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Israeli Military
  • Israeli Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22 – 31
  • (11–12 children8 women3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    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
    Israeli Military

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT0313

Incident date

October 18, 2023

Location

جوار مسجد صلاح البدوي, Vicinity of Salah Badawi Mosque, Gaza, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.516743, 34.450151 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On the evening of Wednesday, October 18th, 2023, a 14 year old child was killed and four other civilian members of the Abu Shaaban family were injured, including a 9 year old child and a young man who is a US citizen, in an alleged Israeli airstrike on the Tel Hawa residential neighborhood in the vicinity of the University College and the Salah Badawi Mosque, in west Gaza City.

According to the Guardian and Ultra Sawt news, the Abu Shaaban family, one of whom is 18 year old Yousof Abu Shaaban, a citizen of the USA and born in Michigan, fled their home in Gaza City to the southern regions on 14 October 2023 in an attempt to evacuate via the Rafah border, designated as “the only exit point out of Gaza into Egypt.” After waiting for several days at the crossing which remained closed, the family were left with no choice but to return to their home in Gaza – after this, the 14 year old Joud Abu Shaaban was killed in the bombing on their neighborhood, which a source on social media described as “insane and indiscriminate bombing.”

Joud’s father, Abedalazeez Abu Shaaban (45) who is visually impaired, her mother Jamila (42), and her older brother, Yousof Abu Shaaban, sustained heavy injuries, while her younger sister, 9 year old Jihan Abu Shaaban, lost an arm in the bombing. Sources on local and social media corroborated this information, including Shehab Agency, al Arabiya Palestine, Gaza News Now, Gaza Live, the Palestinian Information Center and al Jazeera, with images of the injured Yousef shared holding his American passport. Sources also posted videos of the bombings, with Gaza Live sharing footage of a house bombed “near al-Quds hospital”, and al Jazeera revealing footage of an explosion near the hospital. It is unclear whether this was the home of the Abu Shaaban family.

The family was treated at al-Shifa hospital where they remained for close to two weeks, before moving to al-Ahli hospital, where Jamila had shrapnel removed from her leg and the rest of the family underwent surgery. A surgeon who treated Jihan there is quoted by the Guardian as describing her arm “like a shark took a bite out of it and took the bone and nerves and tendons.” Yousof recorded a heart-rending video of himself and posted it to social media, asking, “Where is this country that should protect me?” His interview with Al Jazeera has him confirming the death of his sister and the injuries of his family, saying, “What did we do to deserve this? We are civilians, everyone here is civilians.” Yousef’s father Abedalazeez “studied at Western Michigan University and worked in the state for several years” according to Ultra Sawt. Yousef’s cousin Bahjat Abushaban in Michigan said he received news from other family members that doctors weren’t sure if they could perform surgery necessary to save Yousof’s injured arm.

The Guardian reported that the surviving family has since traveled to Rafah once again to await evacuation, during which they “had to carry a white piece of flag saying we are defeated” according to Abedalazeez. Yousof’s US citizenship allowed for Jamila and Jihan to travel to the USA in December after the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund offered to treat Jihan’s hand injuries at the Shriners hospital in Philadelphia. Abedalazeez and Yousef remained for now as the former is “afraid to travel without health insurance given the US healthcare system’s out-of-pocket costs.”

Airwars has matched Joud’s names with the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of nearly 7000 victims’ names and ID numbers released on October 26th.

Where sources identified the belligerents all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces.

Due to the scale and urgency of Airwars’ assessment process, all images have been automatically uploaded to each assessment with the graphic filter applied to protect users. We have also included all images identified from the sources, which may also include any imagery of combatants.

The incident occured in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Joud Abushaban جود أبو شعبان
14 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 426395562
Yousof Abushaban يوسف أبو شعبان
18 years old male injured
Jamila Abushaban جميلة أبو شعبان
42 years old female injured
Jihan Abushaban جيهان أبو شعبان
9 years old female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    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
    Israeli Military

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (30) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @ShehabAgency
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @ShehabAgency
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @ShehabAgency
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @PalinfoAr
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @PalinfoAr
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @PalinfoAr
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Abd_zaherr
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Abd_zaherr
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Abd_zaherr
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @alforgannet
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @alforgannet
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @alforgannet
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @alforgannet
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Alarabiya.Palestine
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gaza Live
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gaza Live
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gaza Live
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gaza News Now
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gaza News Now
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Gaza News Now
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mostafa Ahmed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mostafa Ahmed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mostafa Ahmed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Speednews
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Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the Salah Badawi Mosque (مسجد صلاح بدوي) to the west of Gaza city (غزة), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.516743, 34.450151. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.  

Israeli Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Israeli Military
  • Israeli Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Cause of injury / death
    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
    Israeli Military

Sources (26) [ collapse]