Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

ISPT0297

Incident date

October 17, 2023

Location

مدرسة المغازي الاعدادية للبنين, Al Maghazi Preparatory School for Boys, Deir al Balah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.420102, 34.388679 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

During the afternoon of Tuesday, 17th of October, 2023, at least ten civilians were killed and dozens were injured in an alleged Israeli airstrike on an UNRWA school located in the al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip where 4,000 people were taking refuge. However, the death toll may be significantly higher as Twitter/X user @alforgannet wrote that “a large number of civilians, most of them children and women, were martyred and injured.”

The school was run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Al-Ahram news quoted UNRWA as saying, “At least six people were killed this afternoon as a result of the bombing of an UNRWA school in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central region of Gaza.” The source also referenced the statement made by the organization’s Commissioner-General, Philippe Lazzarini, who corroborated that dozens, including UNRWA employees, were injured and that “the school had suffered severe structural damage.” The statement suggested that the casualty numbers were likely to be higher. Urgent From The Rest reported about 10 civilians killed and dozens wounded.

WAFA News Agency and Facebook user “Going Back to Palestine” shared the images showing the aftermath of the deadly strike: the walls of the school with large holes in them, lots of broken furniture and rubble. A graphic video posted by Electronic Al-Nadaa Portal on Facebook showed bodies being carried out of the school.

The sources differed about the nature of the strike. The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and National Security and some local sources said that the school was hit with artillery while UNRWA reported an airstrike.

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 in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    School, UN facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 24
  • 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
    Education
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Alam Radio
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

    Source: Hany Abu Zeid
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Al Maghazi Preparatory School for Boys (مدرسة المغازي الاعدادية للبنين) to the east of Deir al Balah (دير البلح). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to the following exact coordinates: 31.420102, 34.388679.    

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  • Imagery:
    Hany Abu Zeid

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
    School, UN facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 24
  • 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
    Education
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Suspected attacker
    Israeli Military

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISPT0244

Incident date

October 16, 2023

Location

الزيتون, Al Zeitoun, Gaza Strip, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.485479, 34.444885 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On October 16th 2023 at least three people – 37 year old journalist Abdulhadi Habib, his mother-in-law, 54 year old Buthina Al Tatar, and her grandchild, three year old Amer Bilal Al-Tatar, were killed by an alleged Israeli airstrike on a residential apartment in the Zaytoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza. Multiple sources agree that family members of Abdulhadi Habib were also injured during the airstrike, with injuries ranging from moderate to severe. The exact details of those injured is unknown.

Palestinians of Iraq’s Facebook post reported that on October 16, 2023 the neighbourhoods of Zaytoun and Al-Shujaiya were subject to a sustained, eight hour aerial bombardment. Most sources agree that it was during this time that Abdulhadi Habib’s residential apartment was hit – allegedly by an Israeli airstrike.

Abdulhadi Habib was a journalist for the UNRWA Education Television. The Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has made a statement on the incident. She described the death of the UNRWA journalist as deplorable, and renewed calls for parties to respect the UN Security Council Resolution 2222/2015 which protects journalists during conflict. Audrey Azoulay called for a “full independent investigation” into the death of Abdulhadi Habib.

Muhammad Abu Sharka, a colleague of Abdulhadi, described their time working together: “We covered dozens of events together. We shared the difficult moments, the pressure of work, staying up for long hours, tears, and food. His smile was always present, and his comments alleviated the hardship of work.” Another of his former colleagues, journalist Israa Al-Mudalallal, added that Abdulhadi’s wife had just given birth to a baby girl on the first day of the conflict.

Friends and family members of the victims posted condolence messages, including Yahya Z. Tatars who memorialized their aunt “mother of Mustafa Sarsour”, her daughter (which may indicate that Abdulhadi’s wife was also killed), and their cousin Amer Bilal Al-Tatar.

Airwars has matched all of the 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. A post by Mohamed Yousif specified that the bombing occurred without warning.

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 (3)

Abdulhadi Habib عبدالهادي حبيب
37 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 801512716
Buthina Al Tatar (Sarsour) بثينة تتر
54 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 922861372
Amer Bilal Al Tatar عامر بلال تتر
3 years old male 444896674 killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (1 child1–2 women1 man1 journalist)
  • 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 (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Palestinians of Iraq website
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Palestinians of Iraq website
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Palestinians of Iraq website
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Khaled Habib
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Ameeraljid1
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

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

    Source: Salam al hak Tarik's mother

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Al Zeitoun (الزيتون) neighbourhood of Gaza city (غزة), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.485479, 34.444885. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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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
    3 – 4
  • (1 child1–2 women1 man1 journalist)
  • 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 (20) [ collapse]