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]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    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

ISPT0096

Incident date

October 10, 2023

Location

جوار مسجد ابو سليم, Vicinity of Abu Saleem mosque, Deir al Balah, the Gaza Strip

Geolocation

31.414496, 34.352518 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

On October 10, 2023, 18 civilians, including five children and multiple women, were killed and 23 others were injured in an alleged Israeli airstrike on the al-Najjar family house in Deir Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

Amnesty International found that US-made munitions were likely used in the strike, which Amnesty called “unlawful”.

In a Facebook post by Amjad Abuljoud reported the names of the victims: Suzan Sobhi Abdel Salam al-Najjar (41), Nadeem Suleiman Salman al-Najjar (20), Safaa Suleiman Salman al-Najjar (1), Farah Suleiman Salman al-Najjar (24), Muhammad Shaldan Salman al-Najjar (26), Mahmoud Shaldan Salman al-Najjar (25), Ruba Shaldan Salman al-Najjar (17), Rawan Shaldan Salman al-Najjar (22), Amjad Khattab (Samir Al-Najjar), Rana Ahmed Yacoub (Abdel Majeed Al-Najjar, 23), Moin Suleiman Moin Salman al-Najjar (6), Zain Suleiman Moin Salman al-Najjar (2 months), Jawd Suleiman Moin Salman al-Najjar (4), Abdullah Moin Salman al-Najjar (23), Zuwaid Moin Salman al-Najjar, Salman Amin Salman al-Najjar (32), and Hanan Tabaza al-Najjar (Ahmed Muhammad Al-Najjar, 55). A post by Ahmad Arafat added Youssef Bakr Muhammad Abu Thuraya (30).

Muhammad Salman al-Najjar (Abu Muhammad) who was also killed was identified by multiple sources as a leader in the Al-Quds Brigade.

@PalinfoAr reported that 11 people were killed and that 23 others were injured, though at the time others were still reported missing.

Family and friends mourned the deaths of the victims on social media. Youssef al-Najjar wrote “May God have mercy on you and make you rest in Paradise for all the members of Aalar Shaldan Al-Najjar, and may God give patience to our hearts for saying goodbye.” Alaa Yacoub posted that their cousin Rana Ahmed Yacoub and her five children were among those killed. Ahmad Abed Rabbo identified the home as “Shaldan Al-Najjar’s family home”.

An Amnesty report published in December found that the munitions used were likely US-manufactured JDAMS, likely weighing 2000lbs. Suleiman al-Najjar, whose wife and four children were killed, told Amnesty:

“I was shocked. I rushed home and saw a scene of utter destruction. I could not believe my eyes. Everybody was under the rubble. The house was completely pulverized. The bodies were reduced to shreds.

“Only the body of my son Nadim was recovered whole. My baby girl, Safa, we only found her hand… Now, me and my two surviving sons live in a tent by the ruins of our home. Our lives have been destroyed in a moment. Our family has been destroyed. Something that was unthinkable is now our reality.”

The Amnesty report found no indication of military objectives at the site.

Dar Al-Qanun Law Firm and Legal Consultations posted condolences for Farah al-Najjar, a Sharia lawyer who worked for them.

Several days earlier on October 7th, another 11 members of a family with the name Al-Najjar were also killed in a strike, though the connection to this family is not clear. That incident was assessed separately, in ISPT0002.

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. According to Al Mezan, no warning was given before 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 local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (18)

Suzan Sobhi Abdel Salam Al-Najjar سوزان صبحي عبدالسلام النجار
41 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 931541320
Nadeem Suleiman Salman Al-Najjar نديم سليمان سلمان النجار
22 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 408783173
Safaa Suleiman Salman Al-Najjar صفاء سليمان سلمان النجار
1 years old killed Matched to MoH ID 442816336
Farah Suleiman Salman Al-Najjar فرح سليمان سلمان النجار
24 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 405166133
Muhammad Shaldan Salman Al-Najjar محمد شلدان سلمان النجار
26 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 403070469
Mahmoud Shaldan Salman Al-Najjar محمود شلدان سلمان النجار
25 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 403609662
Ruba Shaldan Salman Al-Najjar ربى شلدان سلمان النجار
17 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 422616128
Rawan Shaldan Salman Al-Najjar روان شلدان سلمان النجار
22 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 407118660
Muhammad Salman Al-Najjar محمد سلمان النجار
years old male killed
Amjad Khattab امجد خطاب
male killed
Rana Ahmed Yacoub رنا احمد يعقوب
23 years old female killed Matched to MoH ID 405942459
Moin Suleiman Moin Salman Al-Najjar معين سليمان معين سلمان النجار
6 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 438219743
Zain Suleiman Moin Salman Al-Najjar زين سليمان معين سلمان النجار
2 months years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 444194104
Jawd Suleiman Moin Salman Al-Najjar جواد سليمان معين سلمان النجار
4 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 441119195
Abdullah Moin Salman Al-Najjar عبدالله معين سلمان النجار
23 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 405844788
Zuwaid Moin Salman Al-Najjar زويد معين سلمان النجار
32 years old male killed
Salman Amin Salman Al-Najjar سلمان امين سلمان النجار
32 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 803294032
Hanan Tabaza Al-Najjar حنان طباز النجار
55 years old male killed Matched to MoH ID 931665939

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • 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.

Sources (27) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (35) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ahmad Najjar facebook
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    Source: Ahmad Najjar facebook
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    Source: Hisham Abu Rabee facebook
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    Source: Nada Raid facebook
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    Source: Mohammed Abdulhamid facebook
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    Source: Mohammed Abdulhamid facebook
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    Source: Mohammed Abdulhamid facebook
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    Source: Mohammed Abdulhamid facebook
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    Source: Ahmad Saleem facebook
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    Source: Ahmad Saleem facebook
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    Source: Yousef Alnajjar facebook
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    Source: Yousef Alnajjar facebook
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    Source: Yousef Alnajjar facebook
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    Source: Yousef Alnajjar facebook
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    Source: Yousef Alnajjar facebook
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    Source: Yousef Alnajjar facebook
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    Source: Salem Shaldan facebook
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    Source: Salem Shaldan facebook
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    Source: Salem Shaldan facebook
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    Source: Salem Shaldan facebook
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    Source: Salem Shaldan facebook
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    Source: Salem Shaldan facebook
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    Source: Fouad Abu Aljoud facebook
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    Source: Maher ABu Asef facebook
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    via Amnesty report
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    via Amnesty
    via Amnesty
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    via Amnesty
    via Amnesty
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    via Amnesty
    via Amnesty
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    via Amnesty
    via Amnesty

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Deir al Balah (دير البلح). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed the location down to the following exact coordinates: 31.414496, 34.352518.

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  • Imagery:
    Amnesty International

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • 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.

Sources (27) [ collapse]