Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT1483

Incident date

December 5, 2023

Location

منزل عائلة أبو مصبح في دير البلح, Abu Musabbeh family home at the beginning of Abu Hosni Street, town of Deir al-Balah, Deir al-Balah, the Gaza Strip

Airwars assessment

On Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, an Israeli aircraft allegedly bombed the Abu Musabbeh family home containing a bakery located on Abu Hosni Street, in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, reportedly flattening it to the ground. According to publicly available accounts, this resulted in the deaths of at least 30 and up to more than 50 family members, and caused dozens to be wounded, including children. Among the injured civilians was an infant girl named Layan Abu Musabbeh whose entire family was reportedly killed in the strike.

Numerous photographs of bodies allegedly being recovered from the site of this bombing were published by MSDR News. Similarly, the radio station Mazaya Fm shared images showing members of the public and Red Crescent recovering bodies from the location. Anadolu News Agency cited the mayor of Deir al-Balah, Diab al-Jarro, who reportedly stated that around 50 civilians were killed in the house of Abu Musabbeh family, and the majority of those killed were displaced people seeking refuge in Deir al-Balah from other areas within the Gaza Strip, including Gaza City. The agency also reported that 50 fatalities resulting from the airstrike were buried in a mass grave because, according to Diab al-Jarro, the existing cemeteries were no longer adequate to accommodate the substantial number of the deceased. The lowest death count was provided by @adham922 which identified 30 people killed, “all of them children, women and innocent civilians” while the highest death count of “over 50” victims was documented by @QudsNen.

According to Aljazeera, the dead and wounded were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah. The official Twitter/X account of the Palestinian mission to the UK shared the heart-wrenching images of the funeral of at least 45 members of Abu Musabbeh family where a crying woman was embracing a dead body of her relative wrapped in white cloth.

In its Twitter/X account, Al Mayadeen News alluded to why the alleged bombing of this site caused such a high number of purported casualties, stating “A new massacre in #Deir_Al-Balah after the occupation targeted the home of the Abu Musabah family, which contained a clay bakery, around which people gathered to get a piece of bread.”

In its coverage of this event, Al Jazeera posted a graphic video on Twitter/X purportedly filmed at the scene by a Palestinian journalist. The video shows the rubble left from the building, flames of fire and people carrying numerous bodies of the dead and injured civilians. An injured man and an injured crying boy are also visible. According to Al Jazeera Mubasher, limited supplies of medical resources complicated efforts to tend to the wounded. On this, the outlet stated, “It was documented that the wounded continued to arrive at the hospital, with a shortage in all hospitals in the Gaza Strip and a shortage of medical supplies.”

At present, Mohammad Kamal Abu Musabbeh has been named as among the deceased. Condolence posts on social media were numerous. A friend of Mohammad Musabbeh, Muhammad al-Safir, described his last moments before the strike. The two had hugged only seven minutes before the explosion, and al-Safir remembered Musabbeh saying he was tired but that still he “smiled at me and said, I swear I love you.” Had he known this would have been the last time the two saw each other, al-Safir said, he would have “prolonged the hug.” From the attached image the late Mohammad appears as a smiling young bearded man.

A little girl, Talia Khattab, was also killed in the strike. A committed student, Talia was remembered for her diligence to her schooling. Eager for the war to end, Talia reportedly told her grandfather: “Tomorrow everything will be over grandpa, I will go to kindergarten and get the highest grades.”

Whilst describing how this incident orphaned an infant girl Layan Abu Musabbeh to the news outlet Al Watan, a relative Muhammad Abu Musabbeh said that the explosion threw her and her bed into one of the neighbors’ houses. He also described the aftermath of the bombing stating that, “The scene we saw cannot be described. We heard a loud explosion, so we quickly left the house. I was surprised that it was the house of my cousin and his family. The scene was horrific, fires burning in the house.”  Abu Musabbeh also said that they were searching for the child for several hours, and “almost lost hope, until one of the neighbors heard the sound of a child crying, and upon tracing the source of the sound, we found that she had flown away.”

A Twitter/X user @monther_khaled posted a video showing the infant Layan wrapped in green cloth.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces. At least one source, @rdooan, referenced the bombing as being carried out by “American weapons”.

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 local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Mohammad Kamal Abu Musabbeh محمد كمال أبو مصبح
male killed
Layan Abu Musabbeh ليان أبو مصبح
Child female injured

The victims were named as:

Talia Khattab
Child female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Marketplace
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    30 – 51
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (42) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (25) [ collapse]

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    Source: @ShehabAgency
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    Source: Msdr news
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    Source: Msdr news
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    Source: Msdr news
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    Source: Msdr news
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    Source: Msdr news
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    Source: Mohammed Refat Farhat
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    Source: MAZAYARADIOFM
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    Source: Mohamed.safeer2014
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    Source: @PalMissionUK
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    Source: @PalMissionUK
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    Source: @PalMissionUK
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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 infrastructure
    Marketplace
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    30 – 51
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Food
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (42) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT1406

Incident date

December 2, 2023

Location

مسجد أنس بن مالك, Anas bin Malik Mosque, Deir al Balah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.410952, 34.349223 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least four children were injured by an artillery strike on the Anas bin Malik Mosque in the afternoon of December 2nd, 2023. It appears the casualties occurred at the neighboring Deir al-Balah Martyrs School, though this reportedly was not the target of the strike.

Abeer Al Banna Press specified that four children had been injured, which posts on Twitter have echoed. Other sources reported solely that there were “a number of casualties” but did not provide specific figures.

Abeer Al Banna Press and Awdeh Channel claimed that the minaret of the mosque had been targeted. All reported injures occurred at the care centre of the school, where it is believed displaced people had been sheltering.

The children appear to have been transferred to a hospital or care center, but the name or location is unknown.

Airwars has graded the strike status of this incident as “contested” due to the lack of information among sources at this time on who carried out the strike. However, since multiple sources document the resulting civilian harm, the civilian harm status has been graded “fair”.

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 afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Religious Institution, School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

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    Source: Awdeh channel
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    Source: @ShehabAgency
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    Source: @quds_feed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the Anas bin Malik Mosque (مسجد أنس بن مالك) to the south of Deir al Balah (دير البلح), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.410952, 34.349223. 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
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Religious Institution, School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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 (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT1238

Incident date

November 20, 2023

Location

مدرسة البريج في مخيم البريج, Bureij Preparatory School for Boys, Deir al Balah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.439399, 34.408896 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At around midday on Monday, November 20th 2023, an alleged Israeli bombing of the Bureij Preparatory School for Boys located in the Block 12 of the Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip reportedly killed at least 12 civilians, including children and women, and injured at least 35 civilians. The school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Refugees (UNRWA) provided shelter for about two thousand displaced people fleeing from Central and Northern Gaza, according to the Hamas-affiliated Quds News Network report.

Al Jazeera’s correspondent Hani Mahmoud reported that although there was a UNRWA flag on the roof of the affected school building, the Israeli armed forces still allegedly bombed it. The Twitter/X accounts Palestine Now (@PalestineNW) and @AlarabyT shared videos showing the aftermath of the attack where broken furniture in the school’s yard and traces of blood on the ground were to be seen.

According to the video shared by the Twitter/X account of the Palestinian Refugee Portal, the attack happened at lunch time when people staying at the school’s premises were cooking. A young Palestinian girl in the video shared by the Twitter/X account @AlQastalps also said that “we were making food when a large bomb came upon us.” A young boy featured in the video by the Twitter/X account @M0SC0W0 said that during the bombardment he was staying at the school and was drinking water while @qudsn spoke with a man who “went to the market and came back and found his children had been bombed.

Referring to the Hamas statement where Hamas had called for an immediate action “to stop the targeting of civilians in schools protected under international law”, Anadolu Agency reported that more than 10 civilians were killed in the bombing. RT Arabic and Middle East Eye reported about 12 victims while Arabi 21 and Quds News Network estimated the total number of deaths as 15. Al Jazeera wrote that there were at least 20 killed civilians. Twitter/X user @PalinfoAr shared a heartbreaking video of a mother searching for her children among the dead bodies wrapped in white cloth.

Airwars identified the names of two of the victims killed in the attack  – Sami Mohammed Kalab and Bashir Othamn. Both names were identified from videos and images showing the body bags of the victims.

As no clear information was yet available regarding the number of children killed, and as several sources reported that the majority of the victims were children, Airwars estimated between six and 10 children killed – half of the total numbers of victims reportedly killed.

Dozens of civilians, most of them children, were also reportedly wounded in the attack on the UNRWA school. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported about 35 injured civilians. The Telegram channel of Quds News Network and a Twitter/X account @fouadkhreiss shared videos of the injured children being transported to a hospital. A Twitter/X account @EyeonPalestine shared an emotional video of a young Palestinian boy taking care of his sister injured in the school’s bombing. Al-Jazeera Gaza published a video showing the damage inside the school on Facebook where an eye-witness interviewed  said that women were also among the victims – without providing a number. As such, Airwars estimated that 17 children were injured and at least two women were killed, and two other women injured in the attack. These estimations will be updated once more information comes to light.

The sources differed in their reporting on the nature of the deadly strike. While OCHA, Arabi 21, Safa News and Quds News Network reported that the school was hit by artillery fire, Anadolu Agency referring to a Hamas statement as well as Middle East Eye wrote that it was an airstrike allegedly perpetrated by the Israeli military.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strikes to Israeli forces. The Israeli military did not comment on the strike.

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 approximately 11:52 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Sami Mohammed Kalab سامي محمد كلاب
Age unknown male killed
Bashir Othamn بشير عثمان
Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp, School, UN facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 20
  • (6–10 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    35
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Education
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (19) [ collapse]

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Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Bureij Preparatory School for Boys (مدرسة البريج في مخيم البريج) in Bureij (البريج). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to the following exact coordinates: 31.439399, 34.408896.  

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  • Imagery:
    @CensoredNws

  • Imagery:
    @CensoredNws

  • Imagery:
    @CensoredNws

Israeli Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp, School, UN facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 20
  • (6–10 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    35
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Education
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT1177a

Incident date

November 17, 2023

Location

منزل لعائلة الصواف في ساحة الشوا شرقي مدينة غزة, a house for the Al-Sawaf family in Shawa Square, East of Gaza City, the Gaza Strip

Airwars assessment

At least 46 people were killed, including women, children and a journalist, and at least five others were injured, including three journalists, by alleged Israeli airstrikes on the Al-Sawaf family home in Shawa Square in the Al-Tiffah neighborhood east of Gaza City at 11:15pm on November 17, 2023.

On January 14, 2024, Airwars’ researchers spoke with Shimaa Musfafa Al Sawaf, daughter of the owner of the house, who provided the names of those killed and injured by the strike on her family’s home.

From the family of Mustafa Hosni Al-Sawaf (father of Shimaa Musfafa Al Sawaf who provided the details), Mustafa Hosni Al-Sawaf was killed along with his wife Maha Youssef Al-Jayar, along with their sons Mahmoud Mustafa Al-Sawaf and Ahmed Mustafa Al-Sawaf. Mahmoud’s wife Zein Mahmoud Al-Sawaf was also killed, along with their children Baraa Mahmoud Al-Sawaf, Maha Mahmoud Al-Sawaf, and Karam Mahmoud Al-Sawaf. Ahmed’s son Omar Ahmed Al-Sawaf and daughter Shahad Ahmed Al-Sawaf were also among those killed. Mustafa and Maha’s other three sons Mohammed Al-Sawaf, Marwan Mustafa Al-Sawaf and Montaser Mustafa Al-Sawaf were injured in the strike, but Marwan and Montaser were later killed in another incident on December 1st (see incident ISPT1345 for details).

A woman named Saleha Mahmoud Al-Sawaf was also killed, with her son Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Sawaf, Muhammad’s wife Hanaa Jamal Al-Batsh, along with their sons Obaida Muhammad Al-Sawaf, Osama Muhammad Al-Sawaf and Ahmed Muhammad Al-Sawaf, along with Saleha’s other grandson Mustafa Hatem Al-Sawaf.

Mustafa Hosni Al-Sawaf’s brother Khamis Hosni Al-Sawaf was killed along with his wife Magda Al-Sawaf and their children Hanadi Khamis Al-Sawaf, Ramez Khamis Al-Sawaf, and Youssef Khamis Al-Sawaf. Ramez’s wife Samah Magdy Al-Helou was also killed, in addition to their daughter Basmala Ramez Al-Sawaf. Youssef’s wife Shahinda Al-Batsh, and children Suhaib Youssef Al-Sawaf, Mahmoud Youssef Al-Sawaf, and Sham Youssef Al-Sawaf were also killed.

Another member of the Al-Sawaf family named Kafa Ahmed Al-Sawaf was killed, alongside her son Abdul Karim Ahmed Al-Sawaf, his wife Suhaila Al-Sawaf, and their children Al-Hassan Abdul Karim Al-Sawaf, Basant Abdul Karim Al-Sawaf, and Ahmed Abdel Karim Al-Sawaf. 

From Nima Al-Sawaf’s family, Nima Al-Sawaf was killed, in addition to her daughter Asma Abd al-Rahman al-Sawaf and son Izz al-Din Abd al-Rahman al-Sawaf.

A man named Nabil Salah Al-Sawaf was killed with his wife Inam Al-Sawaf, and their daughter Lama Nabil Al-Sawaf. 

Muhammad Fouad Al-Sawaf and Muhammad Salama Al-Sawaf were both injured in the strike, and were later killed in another strike on December 1st (see incident ISPT1345 for details).

In addition to the members of the Al-Sawaf family who were killed and injured, eight displaced civilians who were sheltering with the family were killed. @nissren_jaber reported that the building contained 150 displaced people at the time of the strike.

Mustafa Hosni Al-Sawaf (also referred to as Dr. Mustafa) was described by different sources as a journalist and a writer, with one source adding that “we learned from him at the beginning the path towards media life and media appearance”. Anadolu Agency also posted a condolence message for Mustafa, referring to him as a “journalist and political analyst” and “the great journalist and writer Mustafa”. Palestinian Ministry of Culture mourned the loss of Mustafa, pointing out that he “is considered one of the most famous Palestinian media figures and analysts, and has written hundreds of writings and analyzes on Palestinian political affairs.” Literary Hub described Mustafa as “the editor-in-chief of several newspapers and was founder and editor-in-chief of the first daily newspaper published in the Gaza Strip. Al-Sawaf also published a number of books, including a six-part series of articles, Days of Rage (2005), and a collection of political short stories, There Was a Householder (2017).” However, an Israeli Journalist named Roi Kais reportedly accused Mustafa of being sympathetic to Hamas.

According to @HuDa_NaIm92 (who initially reported that Montaser Mustafa Al-Sawaf was killed), Montaser was a photojournalist for Anadolu Agency, and included an image of him in a press vest with an AA microphone. Montaser posted a few days later on his own Facebook page that more than 45 people had been killed in the strike, “including my mother, father, my two brothers, and all of their children,” and that “I was injured in the face. Unfortunately, I have not yet found a doctor to treat me, as I am in Gaza City and there is no hospital for treatment, not even doctors” along with an image of his swollen and injured face.

A tweet from @Bashar_Hamdan referred to his friend as director Muhammad Al-Sawaf, adding that Muhammad’s family was filled with hope that the Arab countries would stop the conflict in Gaza, but instead were killed and injured. Anadolu Agency identified Muhammad as the director of Atef Multimedia Agency.

Another son of Mustafa and his wife Maha who was injured in the strike named Marwan Mustafa posted a condolence message to his “beloved” father, his mother who “left my heart”, his “beloved brother” Mahmoud and “the father of a kind heart” Ahmed, as well as a total of 47 people from his family who had been killed. According to Shireen Observatory, Marwan was born on January 12th, 1993 (he was 30 years old), he studied technology at the University College of Applied Sciences – Gaza and he worked at both the college and for Alef Multimedia, and he was pictured in a press vest.

Al Mayadeen News spoke with a witness who said that the strike occurred at 11:15pm on November 17th.

According to @Gazanow12345, a “massive fire” broke out at the location of the strike. Al Mayadeen also spoke with an eyewitness who said that “bodies were scattered tens of meters away from the targeted building” and that city residents were calling on rescue workers to extinguish the fire and rescue those trapped under the rubble.

*The youngest generation of each family have been counted as children until additional information comes out about the ages of victims.

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 23:15:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (45)

Mustafa Hosni Al-Sawaf مصطفى حسني الصواف
Adult male killed
Maha Youssef Al-Jayar مها يوسف الجيار
Adult female killed
Mohammed Al-Sawaf محمد الصواف
Adult male injured
Mahmoud Mustafa Al-Sawaf محمود مصطفى الصواف
Adult male killed
Zein Mahmoud Al-Sawaf زين محمود الصواف
Adult female killed
Baraa Mahmoud Al-Sawaf براء محمود الصواف
male killed
Maha Mahmoud Al-Sawaf مها محمود الصواف
female killed
Karam Mahmoud Al-Sawaf كرم محمود الصواف
male killed
Ahmed Mustafa Al-Sawaf أحمد مصطفى الصواف
Adult male killed
Shahad Ahmed Al-Sawaf شهد أحمد الصواف
female killed
Omar Ahmed Al-Sawaf عمر احمد الصوف
male killed
Montaser Mustafa Al-Sawaf منتصر مصطفى الصواف
Adult male injured
Marwan Mustafa Al-Sawaf مروان مصطفى الصواف
30 years old male injured
Saleha Mahmoud Al-Sawaf صالحة محمود الصواف
Adult female killed
Mustafa Hatem Al-Sawaf مصطفى حاتم الصواف
killed
Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Sawaf محمد محمود الصواف
Adult male killed
Hanaa Jamal Al-Batsh هناء جمال البطش
Adult female killed
Obaida Muhammad Al-Sawaf عبيدة محمد الصواف
male killed
Osama Muhammad Al-Sawaf أسامة محمد الصواف
male killed
Ahmed Muhammad Al-Sawaf أحمد محمد الصواف
male killed
Khamis Hosni Al-Sawaf خميس حسني الصواف
Adult male killed
Magda Al-Sawaf ماجدة الصواف
Adult female killed
Hanadi Khamis Al-Sawaf هنادي خميس الصواف
Adult female killed
Ramez Khamis Al-Sawaf رامز خميس الصواف
Adult male killed
Samah Magdy Al-Helou سماح مجدي الحلو
Adult female killed
Basmala Ramez Al-Sawaf بسملة رامز الصواف
female killed
Youssef Khamis Al-Sawaf وسف خميس الصواف
Adult male killed
Shahinda Al-Batsh شاهيندا البطش
Adult female killed
Suhaib Youssef Al-Sawaf صهيب يوسف الصواف
male killed
Mahmoud Youssef Al-Sawaf محمود يوسف الصواف
male killed
Sham Youssef Al-Sawaf شام يوسف الصواف
female killed
Kafa Ahmed Al-Sawaf كفا أحمد الصواف
Adult female killed
Abdul Karim Ahmed Al-Sawaf عبد الكريم أحمد الصواف
Adult male killed
Suhaila Al-Sawaf سهيلة الصواف
Adult female killed
Al-Hassan Abdul Karim Al-Sawaf الحسن عبد الكريم الصواف
male killed
Basant Abdul Karim Al-Sawaf بسنت عبدالكريم الصواف
female killed
Ahmed Abdel Karim Al-Sawaf أحمد عبدالكريم الصواف
male killed
Nima Al-Sawaf نعمة الصواف
Adult female killed
Izz al-Din Abd al-Rahman al-Sawaf عزالدين عبدالرحمن الصواف
male killed
Asma Abd al-Rahman al-Sawaf أسماء عبد الرحمن الصواف
female killed
Nabil Salah Al-Sawaf نبيل صلاح الصواف
Adult male killed
Inam Al-Sawaf أنعام الصواف
Adult female killed
Lama Nabil Al-Sawaf لمى نبيل الصواف
female killed
Muhammad Fouad Al-Sawaf محمود فواد الصواف
male injured
Muhammad Salama Al-Sawaf محمود سلامة الصواف
male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    46 – 48
  • (19 children12 women9 men1 journalist)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • 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 (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @HuDa_NaIm92
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @adham922
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

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

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

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

    Source: Montaser Al Sawaf
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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
    46 – 48
  • (19 children12 women9 men1 journalist)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • 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 (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT0405

Incident date

October 20, 2023

Location

محيط المستشفى الأوروبي, Vicinity of the European Hospital, Khan Younis, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.303534, 34.320700 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Around 5pm on Friday October 20th 2023, an alleged Israeli airstrike on the Al-Aqad family house located near the European Hospital in the Al-Manara neighborhood south to the town of Khan Yunis killed a Palestinian poet and novelist Heba (Hiba) Kamal Saleh Abu Nada alongside her son and ten identified members of the Al-Aqad family, the majority of whom were women and children, among them one infant, and at least six others were wounded.

Initially Shehab Agency correspondent reported about five civilians killed in the strike and a number of wounded and missing ones, but later Alqhad.tv, Almayadeen.net and Watan news reported that the death toll rose to seven. Alqhad.tv also mentioned that six people were injured, with Almayadeen.net mentioning that “children” were among the injured.

The Facebook testimony by Ahmed Ismael Al-Akkad helped to identify ten members of the Al-Aqad family who were killed in the strike alongside the poet and novelist Hiba Abu Nada who apparently had been displaced and had been staying in that house as a guest together with her son who had also been reportedly killed. Thus, the number of the victims killed in the attack reached twelve people.

A 52-year old woman Nahed Qasim Abdullah Al-Aqad Safi was killed alongside her son, her two daughters, her sister, and her grandchildren. It was written in Alakaad Family Pace post that she was a widow of Yahya Muhammad Abdullah Al-Aqqad “Abu Al-Nour” who was called a “martyr”. Nahed’s son, a 29-year old Muhammad Yahya Abdel al-Aqad was killed alongside his wife, a 23-year old Deena Dhafer Hamdi Al-Aqad, and their daughter Nevin Muhammad Yahya Al-Aqad who was only one year and three months old when she was killed. Nahed’s 33-year old daughter Nevin Yahya Muhammad Al-Aqad lost her life together with her son 13 year old Ahmed Salah Selim and her 25-year old sister Nidaa Yahya Muhammad Al-Aqad.

Nahed’s 27-year old sister Reham Mahmoud Qasim Al-Aqad Safi was killed alongside her 5-year old son Yahya Nour El-Din Yahya Al-Aqad and her infant son Muhammad Nour al-Din Yahya al-Aqad who was only two months old.

A Facebook post by Alakaad Family Pace contained images of the corpses of the family members wrapped in cloth as well as a graphic image of a dead woman embracing her dead child entitled “Eternal sleep”. A Twitter/X user @Mustafa3Ahed shared a graphic image of a dead body of an infant arriving to the morgue after the airstrike on Al-Aqad family house.

As mentioned above, among the victims was a Palestinian poet and writer Hiba (Heba) Abu Nada who was killed with her son. The Palestinian Ministry of Culture published an official condolence statement dedicated to her, describing the deceased woman as  “a creative writer who wrote stories, novels, and poetry.”

The 32-year-old Hiba Abu Nada was born in 1991 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to a Palestinian family from the village of Beit Jarjah. She studied biochemistry and educational rehabilitation, worked in education and won several awards for her writing. Abu Nada published collections of poetry and a novel “Oxygen is Not for the Dead” which won second place at the Sharjah Awards for Arab creativity in 2017.

Her last poem was published on the social platform X/Twitter just a few days before her death:

“Gaza’s night is dark apart from the glow of rockets,

quiet apart from the sound of the bombs,

terrifying apart from the comfort of prayer,

black apart from the light of the martyrs.

Good night, Gaza”

The legacy of Hiba Abu Nada was mentioned in an article by the British media outlet The Guardian which emphasized that before the war, Gaza had a “huge arts community”, that was now being destroyed by the war. Images of the late Hiba published by The Guardian and social media accounts show a young woman in a beige and red hijab.

Her friend Mohammad Ziyad Shawdab shared an image of her holding a book, and wrote about his loss: “My friend, the novelist, poet, and human being Heba Abu Nada rises as a martyr from the Al-Aqsa Flood. They were difficult days, Heba. You told us the story as best you could. Go up to Gaza, the sky.”

Where possible, names have been matched with the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of fatalities in Gaza released on October 26th, 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 approximately 5:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Heba (Hiba) Kamal Saleh Abu Nada هبة كمال ابو ندى
32 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 803079631
Son of Hiba ابن هبة
Child male killed

Family members (10)

Nahed Qasim Abdullah Al-Aqad Safi ناهد قاسم عبدالله العقاد صافي
52 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 916580046
Muhammad Yahya Abdel Aqad محمد يحيى عبد العقاد
29 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 400045472
Deena Dhafer Hamdi Al-Aqad دينا ظافر حمدي العقاد
23 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 407142363
Nevin Muhammad Yahya Al-Aqad نفين محمد يحيى العقاد
1.5 years old female killed
Nidaa Yahya Muhammad Al-Aqad نداء يحيى محمد العقاد
25 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 403717580
Nevin Yahya Muhammad Al-Aqad نفين يحيى محمد العقاد
33 years old female killed
Ahmed Salah Selim أحمد صلاح سليم
13 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 429379332
Reham Mahmoud Qasim Al-Akkad Safi ريهام محمود قاسم العقاد صافي
27 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 402158224
Muhammad Nour al-Din Yahya al-Aqqad محمد نور الدين يحيى العقاد
Less than 1 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 444650097
Yahya Nour El-Din Yahya Al-Aqad يحيى نور الدين يحيى العقاد
5 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 439026527

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (5 children6 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • 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 (33) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Alakaad Family Pace
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Alakaad Family Pace
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Alakaad Family Pace
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Mustafa3Ahed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: D. Amina Hazmoun
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

    Source: Qassan selih abo ibrahim

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the European Hospital (المستشفى الأوروبي) to the south of Khan Younis (خان يونس), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.303534, 34.320700. 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
    12
  • (5 children6 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • 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 (33) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT0333

Incident date

October 19, 2023

Location

منزل لعائلة حسونة قرب مسجد الصالحين غرب رفح, home of the Hassouna family near al-Salehin Mosque, in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood, west of Rafah, Gaza strip, Rafah, the Gaza Strip

Airwars assessment

Around 10:26 PM on Thursday, October 19th 2023, at least 35 identified civilians belonging to Al-Sharafi and Hassouna families were killed, among them at least 14 women and 14 children, including two elderly women, a mother with her three children, five siblings and a pregnant mother of two, and others were wounded in an alleged Israeli airstrike on the four-storey residential building belonging to the Hassouna family located near the al-Salehin Mosque in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood, west of the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. All the victims within the Al-Sharafi family were women and children.

Shehab Agency first reported on the bombing, stating that a “female martyr and a number of wounded” had been recovered, and that there were “missing people under the rubble”. Later Radio e-Nour shared a video of the destroyed home, reporting that “18 martyrs were recovered from under the rubble of the Hassouna family home in Rafah”, adding that “it was housing displaced families from the northern Gaza Strip.” Multiple sources reported on injuries from the attack but did not provide a specific toll.

The deadly attack took the lives of at least 35 civilian members of the two families.

Al-Sharafi family

All the victims within Al-Sharafi family were women and children.

Two elderly women, a 62-year old Amina (Amnah) Hussein Muhammad Al-Sharafi and a 86-year old Nazmiya Mahmoud Abdullah Al-Sharafi (Umm Nayef), were killed alongside a 40-year old woman Zainab Amin Fahmy Al-Sharafi.

A 32-year old mother Aya Nayef Abdel Aziz al-Sharafi was killed alongside her three children, 8-year old Wissam al-Daour, 7-year old Zouhir al-Daour, and 5-year old Basima al-Daour, and her sister 26-year old Alaa Nayef Abdel Aziz al-Sharafi.

The attack also took the lives of the five young children who were siblings: the four sisters – Hala Raed Nayef al-Sharafi (13), Aya Raed Nayef al-Sharafi (12), Nour Raed Nayef al-Sharafi (9), and Leen Raed Nayef al-Sharafi (6), and their brother Muhammad Raed Nayef al-Sharafi (8).

Last but not least, among those killed as shared by relatives and other sources were also three women – Subha Ibrahim Mustafa al-Sharafi, 36-year old Hoda Muhammad Ibrahim al-Sharafi, and Hoda’s sister Hanin Muhammad Ibrahim al-Sharafi. Their ages are unknown.

Hassouna family

Within the Hassouna family, 59-year old Ali Hassan Abdel Rahman Hassouna was killed alongside his seven children and three grandchildren – two daughters 34-year old Israa Ali Hassan Hassouna and 32-year old Alaa Ali Hassan Hassouna, and five sons 36-year old Raed Ali Hassan Hassouna, 33-year old Mohammed Ali Hassan Hassouna, 28-year old Moumen Ali Hassan Hassouna, 25-year old Ibrahim Ali Hassan Hassouna, and 37-year old Hasan Ali Hassan Hassouna.  Hasan’s wife 34-year old Aya Basem Ashour Hasouna was killed along with their three children – 7-year old Joud Hassan Ali Hassouna, 11-year old Ahmad Hassan Ali Hassouna, and 9-year old Baraa Hassan Ali Hassouna.

Other victims within the Hassouna family mentioned by sources included 7-year old Ali Muhammad Ali Hassouna, a 25-year old woman named Areej Saleh Hassan Hassouna (al-Taweel), and 30-year old Reem Nahed Hassouna (al-Nahal).

One of the victims of this airstrike was a pregnant 25-year old woman Areej Marwan Al Banna who was killed alongside her daughters Sara Al Banna (14) and Samia Al Banna (10) and her unborn child. Distressing images and videos of the six month-old foetus, later covered in a small shroud, were shared by sources on social media. It was reported that dozens of people in the city of Rafah mourned the deceased Areej.

Surviving relatives of the families grieved the loss on social media, with Alaa al-Sharafi mourning “the martyrs of the Al-Sharafi and Hassouna families after the occupation committed the massacre of the Hassouna family in Rafah. My aunt, her husband, her children, their wives and grandchildren, my aunt’s daughter and her daughters, her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren, and my cousins.”

The Haboul family shared that Areej was a daughter-in-law of the late Fatima Daoud Haboul.  Mansoor Arhaim Arsh offered his condolences to the surviving husband and father, Nidal Banna, adding that the victims were bombed in Rafah where Israeli forces “said the south was safe”, and mourning “Oh God, comfort his heart with this great affliction / Oh God, our hearts are filled with sadness and loss, and we can no longer bear it / Have mercy on us, O God.”

Rafah Service shared that the entire family of Ali Hassouna “was removed from the civil registry”, calling the bombing “a direct targeting of civilians” and sharing an image of Ali, a smiling middle-aged bearded man. The Rafah Municipality referred to Ali as “our colleague”, stating on October 20th that the “crews of the Central Emergency Committee in Rafah Governorate continue to work on removing the rubble and recovering the bodies of the martyrs”, and shared images of the rescue efforts.

In a news report, Gulf365 media stated that the bombing occurred when Areej was carrying out household chores. The family was expecting the birth of a boy child soon, and had named him Omar, with Gulf365 quoting a relative, Ali Hassouna, who said: “We were happy and Areej was happy that she was going to have a son, and she said we would name him Omar after my brother who died a while ago, but suddenly the bombing started and destroyed the house and she and her foetus came out from under the rubble, but she was dead.”

Initially the family clung on to the hope that the foetus would survive, but these hopes were not realized, with Ali Hassouna saying “We were thinking she died, but the foetus is alive, and we had hope, but it faded when the doctors removed the foetus and it was dead. At that time, our hearts stopped crying, all of us. What we are experiencing in Palestine is a human tragedy that no people before us have experienced.”

Moaz al-Hams reported that there was “severe damage to the surrounding homes”, with al-Aqsa voice further detailing that the house “was completely destroyed. It was made up of 4 floors”, and that the severely damaged neighboring homes included the “Kabaja family home, the Kurd family home, the Matar family home, the Musa family home, and the al-Banna family home (from Gaza).”

Where possible, names have been matched with the Palestinian Ministry of Health list of fatalities in Gaza released on October 26th, 2023.

Where sources identified the belligerent, all sources attributed the strike 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 approximately 10:26 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (16)

Subha Ibrahim Mustafa Al-Sharafi صبحة إبراهيم مصطفى الشرافي
female killed
Hoda Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Sharafi هدى محمد ابراهيم الشرافي
36 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 800699365
Hanin Muhammad Ibrahim Al-Sharafi حنين محمد ابراهيم الشرافي
female killed
Amina Hussein Muhammad Al-Sharafi آمنة حسين محمد الشرافي
62 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 910862473
Aya Nayef Abdel Aziz Al-Sharafi أية نايف عبدالعزيز الشرافي
32 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 803222637
Wissam Al Daour وسام الداعور
8 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 435788005
Zouhir Al Daour زهير الداعور
7 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 436972632
Basima Al Daour باسمة الداعور
5 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 440608776
Alaa Nayef Abdel Aziz Al-Sharafi الاء نايف عبدالعزيز الشرافي
26 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 402213920
Nazmiya Mahmoud Al-Sharafi (Umm Nayef) نظمية محمود الشرافي
86 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 908677024
Zainab Amin Fahmy Al-Sharafi زينب أمين فهمي الشرافي
40 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 800146995
Hala Raed Nayef Al-Sharafi حلا رائد نايف الشرافي
13 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 429580202
Aya Raed Nayef Al-Sharafi أية رائد نايف الشرافي
12 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 430417543
Nour Raed Nayef Al-Sharafi نور رائد نايف الشرافي
9 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 433586112
Leen Raed Nayef Al-Sharafi لين رائد نايف الشرافي
6 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 438181117
Muhammad Raed Nayef Al-Sharafi محمد رائد نايف الشرافي
8 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 435778717

Family members (15)

Ali Hassan Abdel Rahman Hassouna علي حسن عبدالرحمن حسونة
59 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 965120439
Raed Ali Hassan Hassouna رائد علي حسن حسونة
36 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 800777328
Mohammed Ali Hassan Hassouna محمد علي حسن حسونة
33 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 802718379
Moumen Ali Hassan Hassouna مؤمن علي حسن حسونة
28 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 400657904
Ibrahim Ali Hassan Hassouna ابراهيم علي حسن حسونة
25 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 403728975
Israa Ali Hassan Hassouna اسراء علي حسن حسونة
34 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 802190884
Alaa Ali Hassan Hassouna الاء علي حسن حسونة
33 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 802919340
Hasan Ali Hassan Hassouna حسن علي حسن حسونة
37 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 801536772
Aya Basem Ashour Hasouna أية باسم عاشور حسونة
34 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 800425464
Joud Hassan Ali Hassouna جود حسن علي حسونة
7 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 437331630
Ahmad Hassan Ali Hassouna أحمد حسن علي حسونة
11 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 433349511
Baraa Hassan Ali Hassouna براء حسن علي حسونة
9 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 432107472
Ali Muhammad Ali Hassouna علي محمد علي حسونة
7 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 437221443
Areej Saleh Hassan Hassouna (Al-Taweel) أريج صالح حسن حسونة
25 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 404520942
Reem Nahed Hassouna (Al-Nahal) ريم ناهض حسونة
30 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 804504769

Family members (3)

Areej Marwan Al Banna أريج مروان البنا وجنينها
37 years old female pregnant killed Matched to MoH ID 801009937
Sara Al Banna سارة البنا
9 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 433573938
Samia Al Banna سامية البنا
14 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 427425814

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Religious Institution
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    35
  • (14 children14 women6 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 (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Arc en ciel
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Arc en ciel
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Arc en ciel
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Arc en ciel
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Haboul family
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Rafah Service “official page.”
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Rafah Municipality
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Rafah Municipality
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Rafah Municipality
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Rafah Municipality
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Israeli Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Religious Institution
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    35
  • (14 children14 women6 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 (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT0329

Incident date

October 18, 2023–October 19, 2024

Location

الشيخ عجلين, Sheikh Ajleen, Gaza, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.504837, 34.424758 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between 30 and 42 people, from a three month old to a 77 year old, were killed and a large number were injured when the home of the Saqa Allah family was reportedly bombed in what was reported to be a “double tap” Israeli airstrike during the night of Wednesday, October 18th 2023. The home was located behind a coffee shop in Sheikh Ajleen near Tal al-Hawa, in the west of the Gaza Strip.

Everyone who had been in the house was reportedly killed. Videos provided to CNN showed “charred ruins and rubble, of what relatives say used to be three buildings” in the Saqallah family compound. Relative’s accounts, reported by CNN, described a first strike followed by a second strike that reduced the compound to rubble and reportedly killed any survivors in the compound.

The victims were identified by their relatives as a set of four brothers 51-year-old Saed Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah, 49-year-old Omar Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah, 43-year-old Khourshid Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah and 37-year-old Ameed Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah (Abu Saif) as well as their sister 47-year-old Maysoon Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah and her son and daughter. Saed was killed alongside his wife, Noha Al-Qishawy, their son, 27-year-old Mohammed Saed Khourshid Saqa Allah and his wife 24-year-old Alaa Ayman Jafer Al-Helo as well as Saed’s daughters, two other sons and all of his grandchildren, according to a post by Saleh Abu Muhammad. Omar, also known as Abu Karam, was killed alongside his wife, 47-year-old Sahar Issam Abo Shaban, their daughters, their son 15-year-old Ahmad Omar Khourshid and Sahar’s father, 77-year-old Isam Jalal Abo Shaban. Isam’s wife, 67-year-old Layla Saqa Allah Abo Shaban (Umm Jalal) and their son, Ahmed, and daughter were also killed.

Multiple sources reported that the extended Saqa Allah family had gathered together in one house in Sheikh Aljeen to shelter from the ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip. CNN put the number of those killed at 42, while Press TV pointed out that the death toll was between 30 and 42.

CNN interviewed Manal Saqa Allah, the sister of Saed, Omar, Khourshid, Ameed and Maysoon, and her husband Tariq Hamouda, who have both lived in Minnesota, USA since 2004. Manal lost almost all of her family overnight and Tariq said that, even a week later, he and Manal could barely comprehend the news. He said that Manal loved every member of her family and spent the summer with them. Tariq also said that they didn’t have time to mourn as they were worried about the safety of few the who survived.

The elderly mother of Manal, Saed, Omar, Khourshaid, Ameed and Maysoon, referred to as Umm Saed and her grandson Karam Omar Saqa Allah survived the incident according to a Facebook post by Wasim Saqer. Tariq Hamouda reported that Umm Saed had been standing on a balcony when the first strike occurred and she had been able to escape with the help of another surviving relative. Tariq reported that she had said her sons had tried to evacuate but had not had time, adding that his family were not involved in any military activity.

Another American relative, South Florida resident, Eyad Abu Shaban, said “It’s like your whole world stops” and that the number of people killed in the incident is really hard to cope with. Eyad reported that the ages of the victims ranged from three months old to 77 years old and that they were all staying in a single compound.

According to Tariq, surviving family members told him that, before the incident, the Israeli Defense Force had called to say that there could be military activity in the area but had not told the family to evacuate their home. Adding that there had been bombings happening with and without warnings; he lamented the confusion and fear of the situation.

CNN had reached out to the IDF to confirm the strike. The IDF said they couldn’t comment without the coordinates of the house and the family declined to provide them for fear of reprisal.

Eyad Abu Shaban reported that amongst the victims in his family were multiple medical professionals and of the four brothers, Saed, Omar and Khourshid were eye doctors and Ameed was an ENT specialist. The Saqa Allah family ran the largest network of family-owned eye clinics in the Gaza Strip.

Many tributes were made to the family on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), including a post from Adham Al-Sofar E who described the family as “the best people in morals and manner” and “friends like no other”.

CNN reported that the community in Maple Grove, Minnesota had rallied around Tariq and Manal, many had offered their support and others had gone to Brooklyn Park Islamic Center to pray for the family.

Tariq, Manal and Eyad expressed their deep distress to CNN, with Eyad saying “We’ve never seen in this day and age where the whole world is watching innocent people just being torn apart. Families, whole families, just wiped off the map,” and “I want everybody to know that the people of Gaza are just like them, they hurt, they bleed, they have families, they have feelings.”

Many sources reported that the bodies of victims were buried under rubble.

The surviving family members wrapped the victims in white burial shrouds and buried them in a mass grave, shown in a video provided to CNN.

Saed, Omar, Khourshid, Ameed, Maysoon, Mohammed, Sahar, Alaa, Isam, Layla and Ahmed Khourshid were matched to the list of fatalities published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health on October 26, 2023. Their names, ages and ID numbers are listed below.

Saed and Noha’s unnamed sons, daughters and grandchildren as well as Omar and Sahar’s unnamed daughters are not listed below unfortunately as no sources have confirmed how many they are.

The incident is likely to have occurred in the night between October 18 and 19, 2023. However, the exact time of the incident is not known.

Where sources identified a belligerent, all sources attributed the strike 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 around midnight.

The victims were named as:

Family members (16)

Saed Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah سعيد محمد خورشيد ساق الله
51 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 951903061
Noha Al Qishawi نهى القيشاوي
Adult female killed
Mohammed Saed Khourshid محمد سعيد خورشيد
27 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 401989181
Alaa Ayman Jafer Al Helo ألاء أيمن جعفر الحلو
24 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 405787268
Omar Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah عمر محمد خورشيد ساق الله
49 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 900257940
Sahar Issam Abo Shaban سحر عصام أبو شعبان
47 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 901358168
Ahmad Omar Khourshid أحمد عمر خورشيد
15 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 426335865
Khourshid Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah خورشيد محمد خورشيد ساق الله
47 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 906525100
Ameed Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah عميد محمد خورشيد ساق الله
37 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 801516147
Maysoon Mohammed Khourshid Saqa Allah ميسون محمد خورشيد ساق الله
47 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 901319111
Maysoon's daughter ابنة ميسون
Age unknown female killed
Maysoon's son ابن ميسون
Age unknown male killed
Isam Jalal Abo Shaban عصام جلال أبو شعبان
77 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 906135736
Layla Abdul Rahman Rashid Abo Shaban ليلى عبد الرحمن رشيد ابو شعبان
67 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 905985552
Ahmed Abo Shaban أحمد ابو شعبان
Age unknown male killed
Issam's daughter ابنة عصام
Age unknown female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    30 – 42
  • (4 children9–11 women10 men4 healthcare_personnel)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Healthcare
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Adham Al-Sofar E
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

    Source: Wasim Saqer i
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Wasim Saqer i
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    Source: Wasim Saqer i
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

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

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Sheikh Ajleen (الشيخ عجلين) to the west of Gaza city (غزة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to find boundaries for the neighbourhood and to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Sheikh Ajleen are: 31.504837, 34.424758.

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
    30 – 42
  • (4 children9–11 women10 men4 healthcare_personnel)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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.
  • Impact
    Healthcare
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT0300

Incident date

October 17, 2023

Location

محيط ملعب برقة, Vicinity of Burqa Stadium, Rafah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.285973, 34.253723 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On October 17th 2023, 12 civilians from the same family, including five women and three children, were reportedly killed and an unknown number of others were injured in an alleged Israeli airstrike on the Al-Khawaja family home located in Al-Shaboura refugee camp in central Rafah near Burqa Stadium.

Safa News reported that “more than 10 unarmed civilians” were killed while Alarabiya Palestine identified 12 members of the Al-Khawaja family killed, along with images of their bodies wrapped in white shrouds and the funeral service. According to Aymen abo hatab al hawa, the funeral prayer was carried out at Al-Farouq Mosque in Al-Shaboura Camp and the burial occurred at Sultan Hill Cemetery.

A Facebook post by Musab Mohammad has identified all 12 of the victims. Hassan Mahmoud Al-Khawaja (Abu Ali) and his son, 29 year old Ibrahim Hassan Al Khawaja, were killed in the strike.

Hassan’s brother 54 year old Saber Mahmoud Al-Khawaja, his wife 50 year old Amal Abdul Aziz Al Khawaja and their children, 28 year old Muhammad Saber Al-Khawaja, 23 year old Asmaa Saber Al Khawaja and 20 year old Iman Saber Al Khawaja were also among those killed.

In addition, Hassan’s daughter-in-law 32 year old Walaa Muhammad Al-Khawaja Adwan (wife of Mahmoud Hassan Al-Khawaja) and her daughters 2 year old Sila Mahmoud Hassan Al-Khawaja and 9 year old Sarah Mahmoud Hassan Al-Khawaja were also all killed in the strike.

Hassan’s grandson Khaled Muhammad Fathi Jabr (child, son of Amaal Almahmoud) has also been identified and described as ‘the cutest and sweetest child in the world’ in a Facebook post by user Leqa Al Saadi. Lega’s post added that Khaled was finally born after 5 years of trying, and he had a twin brother named Adam who passed away a few hours after his birth. Khaled is pictured in his school uniform wearing a backpack.

A further Facebook post by Eman abu Koush paid tribute to 30 year old Manal Musa Mustafa Al-Khawaja Abu Armana (wife of Ali Hassan Al-Khawaka) who was among those killed and ‘prayed for mercy for her daughters’.

Multiple sources reported that “injuries” resulted from the strike. However, none provided an exact number of injuries.

The five-floor residential building reportedly provided refuge to families who had been displaced, with one source reporting that over 50 members of the Al-Khawaja were in the building. Images distributed on Facebook capture locals recovering the dead and injured from the rubble.

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

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 local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (12)

Hassan Mahmoud Al-Khawaja حسن محمود الخواجة
Adult male killed
Ibrahim Hassan Al Khawaja ابراهيم حسن الخواجة
29 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 804766228
Saber Mahmoud Al-Khawaja صابر محمود الخواجة
54 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 958567596
Amal Abdul Aziz Al Khawaja مل عبد العزيز الخواجة
50 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 931685655
Muhammad Saber Al-Khawaja محمد صابر الخواجة
28 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 400873030
Asmaa Saber Al Khawaja اسماء صابر الخواجة
23 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 405948134
Iman Saber Al Khawaja ايمان صابر الخواجة
20 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 408716926
Walaa Muhammad Al-Khawaja Adwan ولاء محمد الخواجا عدوان
32 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 803276187
Sila Mahmoud Hassan Al-Khawaja سيلا محمود حسن الخواجة
2 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 445257033
Sarah Mahmoud Hassan Al-Khawaja سارة محمود حسن الخواجة
9 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 433569365
Khaled Muhammad Fathi Al-Khawaja Jabr خالد محمد فتحي الخواجا جبر
Child male killed
Manal Musa Mustafa Al-Khawaja Abu Armana منال موسي مصطفي الخواجا أبوعرمانة
30 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 804429181

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (3 children5 women4 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 (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (30) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Adle abo batta
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mahmoud elmassri
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mahmoud elmassri
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Mahmoud elmassri
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Asad al shareq
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    Source: Asad al shareq
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    Source: Asad al shareq
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    Source: Asad al shareq
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    Source: Asad al shareq
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    Source: Asad al shareq
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    Source: Asad al shareq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Asad al shareq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Asad al shareq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Asad al shareq
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Palestine202229
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Palestine202229
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Source: Fady KH
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abo mohammad mesara
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Abo mohammad mesara
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Leqa al saadi
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Burqa Stadium (ملعب برقة) in Rafah (رفح). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to the following exact coordinates: 31.285973, 34.253723

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  • Imagery:
    AFP News Agency

Israeli Military Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (3 children5 women4 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 (29) [ collapse]