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Press Release: On the second day of Israel’s military escalation in Gaza: Israel’s air force targets residential buildings, more civilians killed


For the second day in a row, Israel’s airstrikes have resulted in large-scale destruction to civilian properties and vital infrastructure in the Gaza Strip—including tens of commercial facilities, press offices, and governmental sites—as the Israeli policy of targeting residential buildings resurfaces. 


Al Mezan’s field monitoring shows that the second day of attacks raised the number of Palestinian fatalities to 49, including 14 children and four women (one being five months pregnant), while 244 others, including 49 children and 37 women, sustained mild to serious injuries. The number of residential buildings targeted rose to 17, with two apartment buildings, made up of 113 apartments, completely destroyed, and two schools and a mosque damaged. Panic spread among Palestinian families as Israel’s massive use of heavy munitions continued. 


Al Mezan’s field monitoring and documentation work recorded the attacks in the past 24 hours as follows:


On 11 May 2021, at approximately 4:30pm, Israel’s air force fired two missiles at a two-story house, killing Iyad Fathi Shrair, 44, his wife Layali Shrair, 40, and their 15-year-old daughter Lina. The attack inflicted considerable material damage on nearby houses.


On the same day, at 7:35pm, al-Hanadi Tower, a 13-story residential building in the west of Gaza City, collapsed after an Israeli air strike targeted it with nine missiles. The building was home to 80 families and housed several companies.


Similarly, at 9:30pm, the Israeli air force fired six missiles from a drone at the ten-story al-Jawhara Tower in Gaza City and continued to target the building into the early hours of 12 May 2021, leading to the near complete destruction of the tower and partial destruction of nearby houses and shops. The tower housed several companies, clinics and media institutions, including Watania agency, the newspaper Felestin, AlAraby Television, and AlKofiya TV.


On Tuesday evening, 11 May 2021, an Israeli drone fired a missile at farmland in the district of Middle Gaza. The attack killed two Palestinian brothers, 21-year-old Monther Abdelkareem Baraka and 18-year-old Manar, running a family-owned poultry business.


On 11 May 2021, at approximately 9pm, Israel’s air forces targeted a group of people in the al-Shujaiya neigborhood in eastern Gaza City, killing 34-year-old Mohammed Abdelrauf Hilles.


At 1:35am on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, an Israeli air strike targeted and destroyed an apartment in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood in western Gaza City. Five people were killed in the attack, including five-months pregnant Reema Saad Kamel Saad and her five-year-old son, Zaid Mohammed Al-Telbani. Saad’s two-year-old daughter has not been found at the time of documentation. The other victims are Wael Abdelkareem Eisa, 41, Hasan Mohammed Al-Qahwaji, 43, and Hala Hussein Al-Reefi, 13. Nearby houses were partially damaged.


On the same day, at approximately 5:55am, Israel’s air force simultaneously targeted separate areas in Gaza City. An estimated 50 missiles were fired in these attacks. Targets included the Arafat Police City compound and the public roads in its proximity, effectively making them unusable; a security building next to the Public Prosecution Office, near the Islamic University of Gaza; and a dirt road near the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s Emergency Medical Services Center, which led to material damages to several nearby buildings, namely AlAzhar Tower, Al-Saada Tower, and Balqys Al-Yaman High School. These airstrikes destroyed the entrance of 14-story Al-Sousi Tower, opposite UNRWA’s headquarters in the Gaza Strip, and the seven-story Alrawda Tower in Tel al-Hawa. In addition to UNRWA’s headquarters, several UN schools were damaged.


At 6:05am, 12 May 2021, Israel’s air force fired approximately 20 missiles at different areas in Khan Younis, including at a park belonging to the municipality and at a security site. A passerby, Mahmoud Jamil Kallousa, 28, was killed. The airstrike also damaged the power and water grids in the area.


At 10am on the same day, an Israeli airstrike targeted a car in Beit Lahia, North Gaza, killing the four passengers: Talaat Jamil Agha, 36, Atef Abdelrahman al-Barawi, 48, Nael al-Barawi, 22, Wael Fares al-Ghould, 55, and injuring another.


Around the same time, Israeli forces stationed at the perimeter fence in Khan Younis fired live ammunition at Palestinian farmers in Abasan. Bashar Ahmed Sammour, 17, was gathering the harvest on farmland around 500 meters from the fence with two of his relatives when he was fatally shot in the chest by the Israeli forces.


At 11:30am on the same day, Israel’s air force targeted a car in Gaza City, killing Mustafa Mazen Kurdiya, 31, Said Hashem al-Hato, 67, and his wife Maisoon Zaki al-Hato, 55. Al-Hato’s children, Mohammed, 27, and Yara, 29, were injured. The airstrike also killed two nearby shop owners: Nader Mohammed al-Ghazali, 46, and Abdelsalam Mahmoud al-Ghazali, 28.


The continuous airstrikes caused severe damages to private and public institutions in Beit Lahia. These include Beit Lahia Police Station and Hala Al Shawa Medical Center. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the Medical Center can no longer resume medical services due to the damages. In addition, Beit Lahia’s municipality headquarters and vehicles, the post office, a Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s medical center, and the Sharia Court were damaged.


At this point, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is expected to deteriorate even further—also due to the persistent power crisis and lack of fuel, as reported yesterday. Israel’s attacks on civilian vehicles also mean reduced access to food and healthcare, which further aggravates the suffering of Palestinian families.


Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s disproportionate military attacks against civilians and civilian properties, which occur amid continued inaction by the international community and an unprecedented deterioration in Gaza’s humanitarian conditions. 


Al Mezan stresses that Israel’s attacks clearly amount to international crimes and calls on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate these incidents and to hold all perpetrators accountable. Al Mezan also calls on the international community to take prompt action to end the current military escalation and ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians and civilian objects in Gaza.


Tags / #IOF crimes #IHL #shelling