IOF Escalate their Offensive on Gaza: Massive Destruction of Houses and Infrastructure

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  • 33 Palestinians, Including 3 Children and 3 Women, Killed and 107 Others, Including 21 Women and 44 Children, Wounded
  • Death Toll Mounts to 83, Including 17 Children and 7 Women, and Total Number of Injuries Mounts to 318, Including 95 Children and 61 Women

For the 4th consecutive day, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) continued its offensive on the Gaza Strip and continued the policy of collective punishment and retaliatory bombing. IOF targeted more residential towers and buildings; some of them were destroyed over its residents and destroyed the infrastructure in city centers and densely populated neighborhoods. They also targeted agricultural lands, governmental facilities and military sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups, turning in an the Gaza Strip into an unsafe heaven. Despite Eid al-Fitr holiday, whose rituals were not performed due to the terror and fear prevailing among over 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, IOF continued its violent airstrikes.  Dozens of different types of Israeli warplanes participated in the airstrikes, which attacked more than 650 targets since the beginning of the Israeli offensive 4 days ago, according to IOF’s statement issued this morning.  Further to PCHR’s press release published yesterday, Israeli warplanes carried out hundreds of airstrikes while the Israeli gunboats and artillery bombarded various targets in the Gaza Strip.

As a result, 33 Palestinians, including 3 children and 3 women, were killed. Among those killed were: a man and his wife, a woman and her daughter and an elderly man. Also, 107 Palestinians, including 21 women and 44 children, were wounded. Additionally, 32 houses, some of them were multi-story buildings, a tower; 4 civilian facilities, including three branches of the Islamic National Bank; and other facilities and military sites were targeted.

Thus, the death toll since the beginning of the Israeli offensive has risen to 83, including 17 children and 7 women, and the number of those wounded has risen to 318, including 95 children and 61 women.

The following are the most significant developments:

Northern Gaza:

Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes using dozens of missiles against various targets in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli gunboats and artillery also participated in the bombing. As a result, 3 Palestinians were killed, including a man and his wife and the body of the other man was retrieved 2 days after targeting him. Also, 39 Palestinians, including 13 children and 8 women, were wounded. Moreover, 16 houses were targeted; 10 were completely destroyed while shops, companies, a law firm, a lending institution, an education center, cars, and dozens of houses sustained partial damage. Also, public roads and infrastructure sustained severe damage.

At approximately 12:00 on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at residential apartment no. (1) in building (25) in Sheikh Zayid Housing Project in eastern Beit Lahia. As a result, the apartment sustained partial damage, but no casualties were reported.

Around the same time, Israeli artillery fired 10 shells at border areas in eastern and northern Beit Hanoun and in northern and northwestern Beit Lahia, causing a dense white smoke. As a result, the residents of the areas adjacent to the border fence were forced to leave; no casualties were reported.

Around the same time, an Israeli drone fired 5 missiles at Mahmoud Nimer Abu Mahmoud Jaser’s (71) 3-storey house near al-Basheer Mosque in Tal al-Za’tar neighborhood in Jabalia. As a result, the eastern side of the house and its roof sustained damage, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 12:05, an Israeli artillery fired a shell at Hatem Wahdan’s house in al-Amal neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house’s eastern wall sustained material damage, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 12:42, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at Ibrahim Majed ‘Adel al-Fasees’s (28) barber shop (40 sqms) located in Tal al-Za’tar neighborhood in Jabalia, causing damage to the shop. Also, 4 civilians, including 2 children, sustained moderate and minor injuries.

At approximately 14:35, an Israeli drone fired 2 missiles at Ahmed Fayiq Abu Sitah’s house, causing damage to the roof of the house, which is located on al-Manshiyia Street in Beit Lahia. No casualties were reported.

At approximately 19:30, the dead body of Mohammed Ahmed ‘Abed Abu ‘Ashma (35) arrived at Beit Hanoun Hospital in central Beit Hanoun, after losing track of him 2 days ago.  He was found in a military site belonging to Palestinian armed groups. It should be noted that at approximately 07:30 on Monday, an Israeli drone fired a missile at the military site, and since then, no one entered the site fearing it would be targeted.

At approximately 20:00, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at Zaher Mousa Ahmed Hamdan’s (55) 1-storey house on al-Qerman Street in Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house roof sustained material damage, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 23:37, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at an empty land in Bir Na’jah neighborhood, west of Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, two were wounded, including a child, and taken to the Indonesian Hospital, where medical sources said their injuries were moderate.

At approximately 00:00 on Thursday, 13 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the Ministry of Interior’s internal security headquarter in al-Sheikh Zayid area. As a result, the headquarter was completely destroyed, while the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, Shari’a Court, al-Quds Open University, a vocational center and a secondary school for boys sustained damage and windows were broken. No casualties were reported.

At approximately 00:10, an Israeli drone targeted Jameel Abu Jarad’s 3-storey house located in the center of al-Zaitoun neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house’s roof sustained damage, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 01:10, Israeli warplanes fired at least 20 missiles at a residential neighborhood on Beit Lahia Main Street, near Zayid intersection in Beit Lahia. As a result, 9 houses, including apartments for rent, education centers, Faten financial institution, a law firm, and commercial companies and shops were completely destroyed. These houses sheltered 15 families of 86 members, including 29 children and 28 women. Also, ‘Abed al-Raheem Mohammed ‘Abdullah al-Madhoun (62) and his wife Halima ‘Ali Mohammed al-Madhoun (65) were killed, 7 other civilians were missed, and 33 civilians, including 10 children and 8 women, were wounded due to the bombing. The injury of one of the wounded was classified serious while the other injuries were classified between moderate and minor.

Furthermore, the airstrikes completely destroyed the Main Street, water and sanitation pipelines, electricity and communication networks. Also, several houses sustained material damage; 6 houses and a residential tower located near the targeted area sustained severe damage while dozens of houses sustained partial damage.

According to PCHR’s field follow-up, ambulances and Civil Defense crews rushed to the scene and managed to rescue the wounded and retrieved persons alive from under the rubble.  According to PCHR’s follow-up, the residential neighborhood was targeted suddenly and without a prior warning.

At approximately 10:30, Israeli artillery fired a shell at Kalash family’s house in northern Beit Lahia. As a result, the house caught fire, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 11:10, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at Amjad Majdi al-Masri’s house, which is comprised of one floor and a roof built of tin plates, located on al-Masryeen Street, east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, the house was destroyed, but no casualties were reported.

At approximately 11:50, Israeli warplanes fired a missile at Eyad Nasr’s house located in Nazla area in Jabalia, north of the Gaza Strip. As a result, the house sustained partial damage, but no casualties were reported.

Gaza City:

Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes against various targets in the city. As a result, 4 Palestinians, including a child, were killed while 92 others were wounded, including 12 women and 27 children. Moreover, 14 bodies were recovered from a military side belonging to the Palestinian armed groups. The airstrikes also destroyed 3 residential multi-story buildings, a tower, a house, a car, several main roads, a stadium, facilities and shops.

At approximately 11:30 on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at Khaled Ahmed Yaser al-Namrouti’s (50) house in al-Sheikh Redwan neighborhood near an UNRWA Clinic. As a result, the 3-story house (250 sqms) was completely destroyed. It should be noted that one of the neighbors received a phone call from the Israeli Intelligence Services ordering him to inform the residents of other houses to evacuate only few minutes before the airstrike.

At approximately 12:00, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a residential building belonging to Majed Hamed Bakir al-Yazji (63) in al-Manarah neighborhood on al-Nafaq street. As a result, the 3-story house (750 sqms) was completely destroyed.  The ground floor is an electric appliances factory where Majed al-Yazji, his 3 sons, and 10 other workers work while 4 families, including 9 children and 4 women, lived in the house. The building’s owner said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he received a phone call from a private number ordering him to evacuate the house only 30 minutes before the airstrike.

At approximately 14:20, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a civilian grey car while traveling in al-Sha’af neighborhood in eastern Gaza City. As a result, Izz al-Dein Mohammed Abdullah Hillis (28) was killed, and his brother, Ashraf (48), was wounded.

At approximately 16:00, Israeli warplanes launched 6 missiles at “al-Weqa’ie al-Gharbiya” residential building on al-Mokhabarat Street. As a result, the 5-storey building, which included 10 residential apartments, was completely destroyed while the nearby shops and buildings sustained severe damage.  Moroever, Layalina wedding hall, comprised of 2 floors and located next to the targeted building, sustained damage.

Ibrahim Talal Skaik (44), one of the building’s residents, stated that he received a phone call from the Israeli Intelligence Service, ordering him to inform the building’s residents to evacuate.

At approximately 18:30, Israeli warplanes launched 10 missiles at al-Shorouq 14-storey tower on Omar al-Mukhtar Street in al-Rimal neighborhood, which is considered one the most vital areas in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the tower was completely destroyed, and the surrounding buildings and shops sustained severe damage, noting that al-Shorouq tower houses various media outlets and civilian institutions.

At approximately 19:25, an Israeli warplane launched a missile in front of Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed Abu Sakran’s (56) house on al-Nazaz Street in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood, where a number of civilians were gathering before al-Maghreb Adhan  in the last day of Ramadan. As a result, the house owner and his relative namely Mohammed Nahed Jaber Abu Sakran (24), were killed, while ‘Ali Hisham Ahmed Abu Sakran (8) was wounded and his condition was described serious by medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital.

At approximately 21:15, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at Salah al-Deen Street in front of al-‘Ijlah Meat Shop in al-Zaytun neighborhood in southern Gaza City. As a result, Yahiya Mazen Shehada Khalifa (14) was killed with shrapnel that hit different parts of his body as he was in front of his house.  Moreover, Basheer Barakat’s 4-storey building sustained severe damage.

At approximately 21:30, Israeli warplanes sporadically launched 24 missiles at main streets and vital roads.  They targeted al-Saraya Intersection on Omar al-Mukhtar Street, Abu Khadra Intersection and the Shari’a Court Street in the central Gaza City. As a result, the area, which include public facilities, residential buildings and governmental institutions, sustained severe damage.

At approximately 21:30, Israeli warplanes launched 10 missiles at the main road which connects Tal al-Hawa neighborhood with al-Zaytun neighborhood and targeted the street next to Alaa’ al-Dein petrol station and the Rosary Sisters School on Street “8”. Additionally, Mazen Foqaha football field sustained severe damage. It should be noted that the Israeli warplanes continued launching missiles sporadically until 03:00.

At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 13 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at a al-Waleed 7-storey building (280 sqms) belonging to Waleed Salem Hillis (64) on Khaled Ben al-Waleed Street in al-Rimal neighborhood.

The owner of the building stated that he received a phone call from a private number who introduced himself as an Israeli Intelligence officer and ordered the owner to inform all the residents to evacuate the building because it would be targeted. The building housed 17 apartments that included offices, institutions, a beauty salon, a tailor’s shop and a media production company owned by journalist Mo’men Qraiqe’ while the ground floor included 3 shops. It should be noted that the building is located adjacent to residential buildings and shops that sustained severe damage.

In the morning, 14 dead bodies were retrieved from a military site belonging to the Palestinian armed groups that was previously targeted in an Israeli airstrike.  The dead bodies arrived at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and the Forensic Department there announced that the main cause of death is suffocation, suspecting that they inhaled toxic gases, so several samples were taken in order to make the necessary examinations.

Central Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes carried out 7 airstrikes on different targets in the central Gaza Strip; during which 12 missiles were launched.  As a result, 4 Palestinians were killed and 5 others were injured while a house and bank were destroyed and nearby houses sustained partial damage in addition to the infrastructure in the targeted areas.

At approximately 18:30 on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, Israeli drones launched one missile at a group of citizens in an open land near al-Ihsan Mosque in Nusseirat refugee camp.  As a result, 4 Palestinians were killed and identified as Hamzah Mahmoud al-Hor (25); Mohammed ‘Abdel Men’em Shahin (27); Mohammed Mo’in al-Qar’ah (26); and Ahmed Walid al-Talla’a (29); all of them were members of the Palestinian armed groups from Nusseirat refugee camp.  Moreover, 2 others were wounded moderately and taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

At approximately 11:50, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles; the first launched by a drone, at the Islamic National Bank on Salah al-Deen Street, south of al-Bureij refugee camp’s entrance.  As a result, the Bank’s 2-storey building (500 sqms) was completely destroyed while the nearby shops and houses sustained partial damage in addition to the electricity network, causing power outage in the area.  Moreover, 3 passers-by sustained various injuries and were taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

 

At approximately 01:40 on Thursday, 13 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a house belonging to Eyad Belal al-Tayeb (45) in al-Bureij refugee camp.  As a result, the 2-storey house (166 sqms) was completely destroyed and around 15 nearby houses sustained severe and partial damage.  Moreover, the electricity and wastewater networks were destroyed.  No causalities were reported.

Khan Younis:

Israeli warplanes carried out several airstrikes on different parts of the City, targeting a house, agricultural lands, military sites, gatherings of citizens, a car, the interior security headquarter and the Islamic National Bank.  As a result, 7 Palestinians, including a mother and her daughter and 2 kids, were killed while 10 others were injured, including a woman and 4 children.

At approximately 14:05 On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution vehicle while passing by al-‘Awdah Bakery in Bani Suheila.  The missile hit the vehicle and injured 3 citizens, including a child, with shrapnel and burns.  They were all taken to Naser Hospital, where 2 of them were pronounced dead upon

arrival and were identified as Majed ‘Abed Raboh Mahmoud Abu Sa’adah (38), from Bani Suheila, and Mahmoud Ahmed Abu ‘Amer (37), from ‘Abasan in eastern Khan Younis.  The child injured was identified as Muhanad Taysir Abu ‘Alian (15) and his condition was reported serious.

At approximately 14:25 on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a 4-storey house belonging to Mahmoud ‘Arafah in al-Amal neighborhood.  The missile hit the second floor of the house, causing destruction and killing a mother and her daughter; Miami ‘Abdullah Mousa ‘Arafah (49) and Hadil Khaled Mahmoud ‘Arafah (28); whose body was retrieved from the rubble an hour later.  Moreover, 3 citizens sustained various injuries during the airstrike and were all taken to Naser Hospital to receive treatment.  The persons injured were identified as Isma’il Mahmoud al-Khawaladah (48), who was injured in his head and abdomen; his daughter Nagham (16), who was injured in her back; and Mahmoud ‘Arafah.

At approximately 17:30, an Israeli helicopter launched a missile near Temraz Fuel Station in al-Fokhari area.  As a result, 2 children were killed and 2 citizens were wounded; one of them is a child and in serious condition.  All of them are residents of the area.  Those killed were identified as ‘Ammar Taysir ‘Ayesh al-‘Amour (11) and Hamadah ‘Atiyah ‘Abed al-‘Omor (13) while the persons injured were identified as ‘Alian Munir Ibrahim al-‘Amour (13) in serious condition and ‘Omer ‘Abed Ibrahim Abu Mustafa al-‘Omor (21).  All of them were taken to Gaza European Hospital while ‘Alian was referred to Nasser Hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit due to his serious injury.

At approximately 23:50, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles near houses in al-Najjar neighborhood in Khuza’ah.  As a result, a woman and 2 children were wounded, and a number of houses sustained damage.

At approximately 01:32 on Thursday, 13 May 2021, Israeli warplanes launched 3 missiles at the Interior Ministry’s Internal Security Headquarter in western Khan Younis.  Around 20 minutes later, 2 other missiles were launched, completely destroying the building.  However, no casualties were reported.

At approximately 06:40, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the Islamic National Bank in Khan Younis.  The bank is comprised of 4 apartments in the ground and first floors in al-Agha Building next to the Khan Younis Municipality in the city center.  It should be noted that only half an hour before the airstrike, one of the sons of the building’s owner received a call from the IOF asking them to evacuate it.

At approximately 08:50, Israeli tanks stationed along the border fence fired several artillery shells at the adjacent agricultural lands in eastern Khan Younis.

At approximately 09:00, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a group of citizens in Abu T’eimah neighborhood in ‘Abasan al-Kabirah.  As a result, two were wounded; one of them was identified as ‘Abdel ‘Aziz ‘Abdel Hamid Abu T’eimah (27) from the area.

Rafah:

Israeli Warplanes carried out several airstrikes on different targets on Rafah City; during which 14 missiles were launched, and the artillery participated.  As a result, an elderly person was killed.  The airstrikes targeted a house, the Islamic National Bank, agricultural lands, security and military sites.

At approximately 16:20 on Wednesday, 12 May 2021, the dead body of Hammad ‘Ayyad Mansour al-Debari (86), from al-Shokah in eastern Rafah, arrived at Abu Yousif al-Najjar Hospital after he sustained shrapnel wounds in the head inside his house near al-Sabereen Mosque.  PCHR’s staff is still investigating the circumstances of the incident, which coincided with the Israeli Iron Dome’s interception of the Palestinian rockets fired from the Gaza Strip along with Israeli artillery shelling.

At approximately 07:55 on Thursday, 13 May 2021, an Israeli drone fired 3 missiles; minutes between each, at the Islamaic National Bank in al-Doha Building on ‘Omar Ben al-Khattab Street in Rafah City.  Around 10 minutes later, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the Bank, causing severe damage, while the nearby offices and organizations sustained moderate damage.  No casualties were reported.

At approximately 09:50, an Israeli drone fired one missile at a house belonging to Wael Mohammed Khalil ‘Abdeen in al-Naser town.  Around 10 minutes later, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at the house and completely destroyed it.  Moreover, nearby houses sustained partial damage, and no casualties were reported.  Before the airstrike, ‘Omer ‘Abdeen, a relative of the house’s owner received a call from the IOF asking him to tell the residents to evacuate the houses in the area.  It should be noted that the 1-storey concrete house sheltered a family of 7.

Since 09:15 and for 3 hours, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Rafah, sporadically fired several artillery shells at vacant lands, but no casualties were reported.

PCHR renews its warning that civilians are paying the heaviest price during the escalation and emphasized that IOF’s ongoing strikes on residential populated areas and the use of weapons on the basis of collective retaliation constitute grave breaches of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 that amount to war crimes.

PCHR calls upon the international community to intervene immediately to:

  1. End instantly and unconditionally the offensive on the Gaza Strip
  2. Stop the Israeli crimes in al-Sheikh Jarrah and al-Aqsa Mosque and respect its sanctity
  3. Hold Israel accountable for its crimes before the International Criminal Court
  4. Stop Israel’s clear war crimes and crimes against humanity, emphasizing that each state believing in the rule of law should impose sanctions on Israel Such as those imposed on the apartheid regime in South Africa