Time: 2:00PM (Jerusalem)
For the third day in a row, Israel continued its offensive on the Gaza Strip, intensifying attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. The continued attacks have so far resulted in the death of 83 Palestinians, including 17 children (20% of victims) and seven women (8%); 380 others have been injured in the attacks, including 90 children (23.68% of those injured) and 57 women (20%). The attacks destroyed 27 residential buildings and three towers, which in total entailed the destruction of 146 residential units, six schools, and three mosques. Tens of other houses and private and public properties were damaged.
Israel’s latest escalation of violence is now exacerbating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, as Israeli authorities have prohibited supplies of fuel, food, and medicine from entering the Gaza Strip. Gaza’s sole power plant has warned that it will run out of fuel and stop operations at the end of the week should Israel maintain its ban. The healthcare system, water, and sanitation services are all threatened by the prospect of a total power blackout—already pursued by Israel as it escalates attacks on electricity grids and water stations.
Israel’s intensive attacks on high-rise buildings, where local, regional and international media offices are located, points to efforts to cover up potential crimes and the ensuing human suffering caused by its attacks in the Gaza Strip.
Al Mezan’s field monitoring in the past 24 hours shows the following:
On 12 May 2021, at 8:20pm, medical sources at Rafah’s Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital announced the death of Hammad Ayyad Mansour Al-Dabari, 86, as a result of an injury to his head caused by the shrapnel of a missile that hit near his home in the Zalata neighborhood in Al-Shoka, eastern Rafah.
In Khan Younis, at 2:05pm on 12 May 2021, Israeli air forces launched a missile onto a gas distribution vehicle as it was passing through the town of Bani Suhaila. The missile resulted in the death of Majid Abd Rabbu Mahmoud Abu Sa’ada, 57, a resident of Bani Suhaila, and Mahmoud Ahmed Abu Amer, 37, a resident of Abasan in eastern Khan Younis. Mohannad Tayseer Abu Eilyaan, 15, was also critically injured in the attack.
At 2:30pm on the same day, Israeli air forces fired multiple missiles onto a 125-square-meter four-story house owned by Mahmoud Arafah and located in the Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis. The attack led to the death of Miami Abdallah Mousa Arafah, 49, and her daughter Hadeel Khaled Mahmoud Arafah, 28. Three other residents of the house, one of them a child, were injured, while the house and nearby buildings were significantly damaged.
At 5:30pm, Israeli air forces fired one missile onto land adjacent to Timraz Station in Al-Fakhary in southeast Khan Younis. Two children were killed in the attack: Ammar Tayseer Ayesh Al-Omoor, 11, and Hamada Ateyah Abed Al-Omoor, 13. Two others, one of them a child, were injured in the attack.
In the Middle Area district, at 6:30pm on 12 May 2021, Israeli drones fired one missile onto a group of people assembling in an open area near Al-Ihsan Mosque in Nuseirat refugee camp. Four persons were killed in the attack: Hamza Mahmoud Ibrahim Al-Hour, 24, Mohammed Abdulmone’im Ibrahim Shaheen, 26, Mohammed Mo’een Mohammed Al-Qara’a, 26, and Ahmed Walid Hussein Al-Tala’, 29. Two others were moderately injured. The six casualties are all from the Nuseirat refugee camp.
In the Gaza City district, at 2:15pm on 12 May 2021, Israeli air forces fired two missiles onto a car driving down Al-Sha’af Street in the east of the Al-Tuffah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City. One person, Ezzeddin Mohammed Abdullah Hillis, 28, was killed, and his brother was injured in the attack.
At 6:30pm, Israeli air forces fired ten missiles on Al-Shorouq high-rise building in the densely populated Al-Rimal neighborhood in the middle of Gaza City. The 14-story building was completely destroyed, as were the corporate, commercial, and media offices it contained. Substantial damage was caused to the houses and shops immediately adjacent to the building.
At 7:25pm, Israeli air forces fired one missile at the entrance of the house of Ahmad Ibrahim Ahmed Abu Al-Sakran, 64, on Al-Nazzaz Street in eastern Shujayya in the east of Gaza City. The attack coincided with the assembly of a group of people near the targeted house as they awaited the call to prayer to break their fast. The owner, Ahmad, was killed in the attack, as was Mohammed Nahed Jaber Abu Al-Sakran, 24. Ali Hisham Ahmed Abu Al-Sakran, 8, was also reportedly critically injured in the attack.
At 9:15pm, Israeli air forces fired two missiles onto Salah Eddein Street, in the east of the Al-Zeitoun neighborhood, eastern Gaza City, killing Yahya Mazen Shehada Khalifa, 13, who happened to be in the area.
At 9:10am on 13 May 2021, Israeli air forces attacked farmland in eastern Al-Fakhary in the southeast of Khan Younis, killing Abdulaziz Abdulhamid Abdulati Abu Tai’ma, 24.
At 9am on 13 May 2021, Israeli air forces fired seven missiles at Al-Walid building, made up of seven floors and 17 residential and commercial apartments, on Khaled Ibn Al-Walid Street in Al-Rimal neighborhood in the middle of Gaza City. The building was completely destroyed and substantial damage was caused to the nearby houses and shops. No casualties were reported.
In the morning of the same day, the bodies of 14 members of Palestinian resistance groups were taken to Al-Shifa Hospital in western Gaza City. According to news released by these groups, the members were targeted by Israeli air forces on the morning of the previous day, 12 May 2021. They are: Basem Sobhi Sha’aban Issa, 56, Mujahid Majid Yousef Al-Hadidi, 29, Awad Nabil Mohammed Abu Selmeya, 34, Jamal Mohammed Saeed Al-Zebda, 65, Osama Jamal Saeed Al-Zebda, 39. Jum’a Abdullah Mohammed Al-Talha, 59, Sami Saeed Mohammed Ridwan, 40, Mustafa Mohammed Suliman Farahat, 26, Mohammed Saeed Mohammed Abu Al-Atta, 31, Thafer Mazen Thafer Al-Shawwa, 40, Akram Mohammed Abdula’al Al-Attar, 36, Mahmoud Mohammed Jameel Faris, 37, Nidal Habeen Ismail Hanna, 36, and Hazem Musbah Ibrahim Al-Khatib, 40.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the forensic medical examination of the bodies showed that the reason for their death was suffocation, with symptoms of potential toxic gas inhalation. Further forensic examination is being conducted.
In North Gaza, the body of Mohammed Ahmed Abed Abu Amsha, 35, was taken to Beit Hanoun Hospital in the middle of Beit Hanoun City at 7:30pm on 12 May 2021. Mohammed’s body was found at a Beit Hanoun military site of a Palestinian resistance group; he had been reported missing for two days. The Israeli forces had attacked the military site at 7:30pm on 10 May 2021.
At 1:10am on 13 May 2021, Israeli air forces fired 20 missiles at eight residential buildings. Fifteen families, comprised of 86 persons, including 28 women and 29 children, lived there. The buildings were on the main street in the middle of Beit Lahia City. Two persons were killed in the attack: Abdulrahim Mohammed Abdullah Al-Madhoun, 63, and his wife Halima Ali Mohammed Abu Sharakh (Al-Madhoun), 66. Thirty-three other persons were injured, including eight women and ten children. A number of other people’s remains are reportedly under the rubble. The attack led to the complete destruction of nine buildings, where rental residential units, commercial shops, corporate offices, the office of Faten - Palestine for Credit and Development organization, an office of legal practice, and an educational center were located. The attack also damaged the street, the electricity, communication, water, and sanitation grids therein, and a significant number of adjacent houses, including substantially damaging six residential buildings.
In addition to these attacks, Israeli forces targeted other houses across the Gaza Strip, including in instances where the owners had been ordered to evacuate by Israeli intelligence. Israeli forces also targeted the Islamic National Bank as well as different security sites across Gaza.
Al Mezan reiterates its strongest condemnation of Israel’s continued and escalated violence in Gaza, and of the statements by the Israeli Prime Minister and the Israeli Minister of Defence that Israeli forces will continue targeting high-rise residential buildings, houses, and infrastructure. Israeli officials are emboldened to make such statements by the impunity that the state has long enjoyed vis-à-vis its serial violations of international law in the Gaza Strip and occupied Palestine. Chronic inaction by the international community means that Israel’s sense of impunity has now been institutionalized in its conduct, resulting in physical and other forms of violence against the occupied population in Gaza.
Al Mezan stresses that Israel’s targeting of civilians and civilian homes violates the fundamental principle of distinction in the laws of war, and likely amounts to war crimes and as part of an inherent policy, as crimes against humanity. These attacks are being perpetrated in highly crowded areas and warrant swift mobilization of international accountability mechanisms.
Al Mezan calls on the international community to end its chronic inaction and take prompt and meaningful steps to end the current military escalation and ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians and civilian objects, including media institutions, in Gaza.