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Israeli Occupying Forces Perpetrate Widespread and Systematic Attacks Against the Civilian Palestinian Population in the Gaza Strip, the International Criminal Must Prioritise Investigation
20، May 2021

(Reporting Period 15 -17 May 2021)


In a two day period marked by indiscriminate bombing of concentrated residential properties, by 17 May 2021, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza had documented the killing of 212, including 61 children and 36 women. By 17 May the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented the displacement of 42,000 Palestinians and that “285 housing units have been severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable, leaving more than 2,500 people homeless, according to the Shelter Cluster partners”.


The following report provides a detailed overview of the attacks, highlighting the widespread and systematic nature of the attacks on the civilian population, including patterns of attacks against residential and critical civilian infrastructure. Examining the period from 15 - 17 May 2021, Al-Haq provides a non-exhaustive field report of Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) attacks.


15 May 2021: Israeli artillery and aerial bombardment targeting of homes, lands and graveyards and key road infrastructure, leaves 18 civilians dead. This section provides an additional update to the Field Report, “No Safe Home: Israel Unleashes a Relentless Campaign of Intense and Targeted Bombing Attacks on Civilian Properties Across the Gaza Strip”


At approximately 1:50 am on Sunday 15 May 2021, Israeli warplanes violently bombed empty land in the Tal Qalibu area, east of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. 


At the same time, in the main street of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, IOF warplanes bombed the Sikka Junction, with one missile. This resulted in significant damage to the northern part of the street and its infrastructure. No injuries were reported.


At approximately 8:10 am the same day, Israeli warplanes bombed and completely destroyed the house of Ahmed Al-Batsh, a two-story building, located in the old Gaza Street in Jabalia Al-Balad, in the northern Gaza Strip, and causing damage to neighbouring houses. No injuries were reported.


At approximately 2:25 pm on Sunday, 15 May 2021, the Israeli artillery bombed a residential apartment on the second floor of Tower No. 8 in Al-Nada Towers, west of the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, causing damage to the apartment, without reported injuries.


At approximately 4:00 pm on the same day, the Israeli artillery shelled with two shells the house of Hamed Al-Shambari, a four-story building, located in Bora Jamil Al-Shawa, northeast of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.


Later at 5:15 pm, Israeli warplanes bombed with two missiles, a two-storey house belonging to the Shehadeh family, in Block No. 2 in Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza governorate, which led to the complete destruction of the house, and the destruction of Al-Kurdi stores for materials on the ground floor of the house.  No injuries were reported.


Later at approximately 5:50 pm, the Israeli artillery shelled dozens of shells in the northwestern areas of the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, which led to a huge fire in the adjacent Khudair Brothers and Medawar Medicines Company, where the targeted stores contain large quantities of agricultural and plastic materials. No injuries were reported.


At approximately 6:15 pm on the same day, IOF warplanes bombed with one missile, a group of citizens in the old Gaza Street in Jabalia Al-Balad, in the northern Gaza Strip, wounding five civilian. They were taken to the Indonesian Hospital for treatment, where medical sources in the hospital described their wounds as medium and slight.


At approximately 6:35 pm, the Israeli artillery shelled the three-story house of Haitham Zakaria Naseer, at the end of Al-Qarman Street, east of the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. 


At around 7:15 pm, Israeli warplanes bombed the house of Raed Saad Sa`d, located in the Anan area, west of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip. Neighbouring houses were also damaged. No injuries were reported.


Fifteen minutes later at 7:30 pm, Israeli warplanes bombed with two missiles, Al-Seifa cemetery northwest of the town of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.


At 7:35 pm IOF warplanes bombed Jabalia with one missile, near the Al-Omari Mosque in the center of Jabalia Al-Balad in the northern Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported.



16 May 2021:  Attacks on Civilians and Civilian Infrastructure: Heavy civilian casualties in night and early morning bombings across the Gaza Strip, killing 50 civilians



At approximately 4:00 am on Sunday morning, 16 May 2021, IOF artillery fired several shells in the eastern areas of the Central Governorate. One of the shells fell on a house located near Wadi Gaza village bridge, north of Nuseirat camp in the central governorate, located about 4 km from the border fence, killing Khaled Hassan Salem Al-Masalha, 50. The building was inhabited by about 25 people, most of them children and women. The bombing also resulted in minor injuries of his wife, Amal Salem Abd Rabbo, 42, and niece, Hind Maher, 22.


At approximately 4:30 am on Sunday 16 May 2021, Israeli warplanes bombed the house of Hussam Muhammad Aql in the Nuseirat refugee camp. The house consisted of a single floor roofed with tinplate, covering an area of ​​250 square meters, home to his family of 10, including four children and three women. The bombing resulted in the injury of nine family members, including five children and three women. They were all transferred to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah. Medical sources described their wounds as ranging from moderate to minor. There was partial damage caused to a number of neighbouring houses.


As dawn broke on Sunday 16 May 2021, Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) engaged in a violent aerial bombardment across the Gaza Strip. Without prior warning, warplanes bombed in 50 successive strikes, a residential building of the Abu Al-Auf family, a four-storey building adjacent to the Al-Qalq family, along with simultaneous shelling targeting Al-Wehda Street in Al-Rimal neighborhood, which is a vital and populated street leading to Al-Shifa Hospital. The violent bombing of residential buildings as people were sleeping, killed 30 civilians, including 11 children and 9 women, in the targeted and surrounding buildings. The two targeted buildings  and the adjacent Ministry of Labour were completely destroyed in the attack, in addition to severe damage to the Ministry of Social Development and the headquarters of the Retirement Committee and the headquarters of Doctors Without Borders,  the Ajjur building and the Umara building, houses belonging to the Matar family, the Al-Amal Institute for orphans,  al-Amal building and the Hedayana Mall. The following civilians were killed:


  • Moein Ahmed Hassan Al-Aloul, 67, a specialist in neurosurgery at Al-Shifa Medical Complex
  •  Luay Muhammad Ahmad Odeh, 55
  • Ayman Tawfiq Ismail Abu Al-Auf, 50, an internal doctor at Al-Shifa Medical Complex, and his sons 
  • Tawfiq Al-Auf, 17
  • Tala Al-Auf, 13 
  • Abeer Nimer Ali Ashkuntna, 30, and her children
  • Yahya Riyadh Hassan Ashkuntna, 5
  • Dana Ashkuntna, 9
  • Zain Ashkuntna, 2
  • Dima Rami Riyadh, Al-Afranji, 16
  • Reem Khalil Ahmad Abu Al-Auf, 41 
  • Hazem Adel, Naim, Al-Qama, 48
  • Rawan Alaa. Subhi Abu Al-Awf, 19
  • Fawaz Amin Muhammad Al-Qulaq, 63, and his sons, 
  • Abd al-Hamid Al-Qulaq, 23
  • Reham Al-Qulaq, 33
  • Bahaa Al-Qulaq, 49
  • Sameh Al-Qulaq, 28, and his wife, 
  • Ayat Ibrahim Khalil, 19, and their child, 
  • Qusay, 6 months.
  • Sameh, al-Qulaq, 42 and her sons 
  • Taher Shukri Amin al-Qulaq, 24
  • Ahmed al-Qulaq, 16
  • Hana al-Qulaq, 15 
  • Muhammad Mu'in Muhammad al-Qulaq, 42 and his brother
  • Izzat Mu'in Muhammad al-Qulaq, 44 and his sons
  • Zaid al-Qulaq, 8  
  • Adam al-Qulaq, 3 
  • Doaa Omar Abdullah Al-Qulaq, 39 
  • Saadia Youssef Daher Al-Qulaq, 84
  • Subhiya Ismail Hussein Abu Al Auf, 73
  • Amin Muhammad Hamad Al Qulaq, 90
  • Mira Ramy Riad Al Afranji, 11
  • Majdia Khalil Hussein Abu Al Auf, 82
  • Amir Rami Riyad Al Afrangi, 19
  • Rajaa Subhi Ismail Al Afranji 41
  • Yazin Rami Riyad Al-Afranji, 13
  • Muhammad Ahmad Misbah Aki, 40
  • Rola Muhammad Mu’in al-Qulaq, 15
  • Hala Muhammad Mu’in al-Qulaq, 12
  • Yara Muhammad Mu’in al-Qulaq, 9
  • Lana Riad Hasan Ashkentna, 4
  • Tawfiq Ismail Hussein Abu al-Auf, 79


The same bombing also destroyed the Churches Union junction, which in turn severely damaged and blocked the main roads leading to Al-Wehda Street, extending from Abu Talal Junction in the middle of the neighbourhood, to the Dabit Junction.


At approximately 12:15 pm on Sunday morning, 16 May 2021, an Israeli reconnaissance plane targeted a group of civilians who were in the vicinity of the Qurum roundabout, in Jabalia Al-Balad, in the northern Gaza Strip, killing Tariq Ziyad Mustafa Abu Humaidan, 19.   Two others were injured and taken to the Indonesian hospital. Medical sources described the wounds of one of the two injured as serious, as one of his legs was amputated, while the wounds of the other were described as moderate.


17 May 2021: Intense bombing continued throughout Monday, with IOF ariel bombardments of civilians, including agricultural workers. Al-Haq documented attacks on civilian houses and critical civilian infrastructure including road networks, electricity, communications, water and sewage networks, the landfill site, in addition to attacks on commercial premises


Israeli warplanes bombed, with three missiles, at approximately 12:15 am on Monday, 17 May 2021, a residential house located in the vicinity of Al-Maghribi Street in Al-Sabra neighborhood, south of Gaza City. The four-storey building contains 16 apartments, inhabited by 17 families, numbering about 115 individuals. No injuries were reported.


At approximately 8:30 in the morning, IOF warplanes bombed, with one missile, the house of Abdul Aziz Al-Khalidi, which consists of three floors, located southwest of Al-Sudania area, completely destroying it, and damaging a number of neighbouring houses, along with the museum hotel, Al-Khalidi Mosque, and Hamad Hospital for Prosthetics.


An hour later, at 9:30 IOF warplanes bombed, with one missile, the house of Fayez Ibrahim Muhammad Abu Ali, a three-storey house in Jabalia refugee camp, completely destroying the house.


At approximately 10:45 am, Israeli warplanes bombed, with one missile, the house of Youssef Al-Ladawi's sons, which consists of 6 floors, in Jabalia, causing damage to the roof of the house.


At around 12:30 pm IOF targeted a white "Citroen” city car, killing Adeeb Saeed Deeb Al-Sourani, 43.


Also at 12:30 pm on Monday, Israeli warplanes targeted a group of Palestinians, while they were near the Maldives rest house on the seashore, west of Gaza City, killing two unidentified citizens. As of Tuesday 18 May 2021, they remain anonymous as there is some difficulty in identifying them, due to burns on their face and various parts of the body as a result of the missile that targeted them, and the resulting absence of any facial features.


At approximately 03:30 on Monday 17 May 2021, the Israeli warplanes bombed a house belonging to the children of the late Tawfiq al-Flit, in the Al-Baraka neighborhood in the city of Deir Al-Balah, with three missiles, two from an unmanned reconnaissance plane, and the third with a war missile. The house consisted of two floors and covers an area of ​​250 square meters, in which four families comprising 18 people, including three women and nine children.  The bombing resulted in the complete destruction of the house, as well as severe and partial damage to about four neighbouring houses. The bombing did not result in any injuries.


At around 12:00 midnight on Monday, 17 May 2021, IOF warplanes bombed, with two missiles, a residential house belonging to Hamdiya Othman Abdul Rahman Hamdan, 60, located in the vicinity of Al-Maghribi Street in the Sabra neighborhood, south of Gaza City. The house consisted of three floors, covering 200 square meters. It is inhabited by three families, including six women and six children. The bombing resulted in substantial destruction to the house. No injuries were reported.


Critical Infrastructure, Road Networks


At approximately 2:10 am on Sunday May 16, 2021, Israeli warplanes fired about eight missiles towards the main street at the entrance to the Maghazi camp, severely damaged the infrastructure, electricity and communications networks, the water and sewage networks, and partially damaged a number of civilian homes adjacent to the site of the bombing.


The Israeli warplanes launched violent and successive raids, estimated at about 50 airstrikes, at approximately 1:00 am on Monday 17 May 2021, with a large number of missiles, targeting the main roads and streets west of Gaza City, from the Nabulsi Junction at the end of ( 8) to the west, until the intersection of Street (10) with Rashid Street on the coastal road, and the bombing caused the destruction of large parts of the general asphalt road, in addition to targeting the secondary and main streets in that area, which led to damage to buildings, residential areas, and commercial shops  near the place of the bombing.


On Saturday morning, 15 May 2021, IOF targeted municipality staff working in the main garbage dump in the Johr Al Deek area, east of Gaza City, with live bullets and artillery shells, which resulted in the injury of workers. Gaza is now facing a major health and environmental crisisas a result of the fire in the landfill and the emission of toxic fumes from it, in addition to the accumulation of solid waste in the temporary transfer station Tet "Yarmouk" in the center of Gaza City. 


Agricultural Lands


At approximately 2:10 am on Sunday 16 May 2021, IOF warplanes bombed the agricultural land of the Al-Masdar family in the middle of Al-Maghazi camp in the central governorate. The bombing resulted in the injury of five civilians, including two women, who were taken to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah for treatment. Their wounds were described as moderate to slight. A number of neighbouring houses were partially damaged.


Between 12:00, May 16  and 12:00, May 17, the IOF continued the shelling agricultural lands and sites belonging to the Palestinian resistance, with several missiles. The occupation forces also continued artillery shelling in the border area east of Rafah, causing direct damage to three houses east of Rafah. This was accompanied by the firing of intermittent artillery shells from Israeli gunboats towards the coast.


At approximately 6:45 pm on Sunday 16 May 2021, IOF warplanes targeted, with one missile, killing two civilians who were in open agricultural land in the Musabbah area, north of Rafah. Tariq Mahmoud Qassem Al-Qadi, 39, and Sameh Jihad Musouh Al-Qadi, 23, and they were transferred to Abu Yusef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, immediately after they were hit by shrapnel and wounds throughout their bodies.


Also on 16 May, IOF artillery shelled agricultural lands and open areas from inside the border fence east of Rafah. Several flares landed in the Shabura area of ​​the densely populated refugee camp in the center of Rafah, damaging a number of civilian homes and wounding two civilians.  They were transferred to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Medical sources described the injury of one, as serious.


An Israeli drone fired a missile, at approximately 9:05 pm on Sunday 16 May 2021, at agricultural land in Al-Mawasi neighborhood, west of Khan Yunis. As a result, four civilians, one of them a child, were injured while they were near their homes, with one in a critical condition.


Medical sources at Shifa Hospital, at approximately 12:00 noon on Monday, 17 May 2021,  announced the death of Yahya Mansour Ali Ghaben, 24 who succumbed to his wounds after being hit by shrapnel in the various parts of the body. IOF artillery fired two shells, at about 5:50 pm on Thursday, 13 May 2021 at a group of farmers who were working inside their lands, located near the American Hospital near the Beit Hanoun "Erez" checkpoint in the northern Gaza Strip. The same bombing at that time resulted in the killing of farmer Suhaib Abdul Karim Awad Ghanem, 25, and farmer Yahya Mansour Ghaben, 24, was seriously injured, and was transferred to Shifa Hospital with critical injuries.


Meanwhile Israeli occupation forces shelled at approximately 12:30 on Monday, 17 May 2021, with a number of artillery shells from inside the border fence, towards agricultural land east of Al-Maghazi camp, in the Al-Sa`idah area in the central governorate. No injuries were reported.


The artillery of the Israeli occupation forces shelled, at approximately 08:00 on Monday, 17 May 2021, with several artillery shells from inside the border fence towards open land in Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah city in the central governorate, wounding the child, Suleiman Essam Muhanna, 10 with shrapnel in the head, leaving her with a light injury. Another woman suffocated as a result of the smoke from the shelling, and was taken to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment.


Commercial Properties


At approximately 7:30 on Monday, 17 May 2021, the occupation artillery bombed, with two shells, the headquarters of the FOMCO Sponge Company, located opposite the former Civil Administration site on Salah El-Din Street, east of Jabalia town in the northern Gaza Strip, which led to a huge fire in the place. Civil defense crews came to the scene and put out the fire, which lasted for about two hours. There were no injuries reported.


The Resistance


Throughout the 16 May 2021, the IOF warplanes continued to target various areas in the Rafah governorate, bombing a site belonging to the Palestinian National Security Border Authority near the Egyptian-Palestinian borders south of Rafah. From noon Saturday until noon Sunday, Israeli warplanes bombed a site belonging to the Palestinian resistance located west of Khan Yunis, in addition to seven open areas of land. IOF artillery fired dozens of shells at nearby towns from their location inside border fence in the east of Khan Yunis. The shelling resulted in damage to many homes and properties, and resulted left two injured with one in a critical condition. Meanwhile, gunboats fired several shells towards the coast. 


On 16 May 2021, at around 1:00 am on Sunday morning, IOF warplanes launched a number of raids, during which more than 20 missiles were fired within one minute, bombing several targets in the Al-Satar Al-Gharbi area in Khan Yunis, destroying the homes of Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in Gaza, and his brother Muhammad Sinwar, commander in the Al-Qassam Brigades. At the same time, IOF warplanes launched a missile near the wall of the house of Jihad Ali Al-Farra in Al-Satar Al-Sharqi. As a result, the two-storey wall of the house was destroyed, and a number of neighboring houses were damaged.


At approximately 10:15 on 17 May 2021, Israeli warplanes bombed the house of Abdullah Abu Raya, located in the middle of Al-Ajarmah Street in Jabalia Camp in the North Gaza Governorate, killing Hussam Muhammad Othman Abu Harbeed, 36, one of the field commanders in the Al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip. The house was completely destroyed, with damage also caused to the houses near the targeted house.


At 12:20 pm IOF warplanes targeted two Palestinian resistance fighters, who were in open agricultural land, in the new town of Abasan, east of Khan Yunis. The bombing resulted in the immediate death of Ahmed Fayez Hassan Arafat, 29, who is married and father of a child, and whose wife is pregnant. Both men were transferred to Nasser Medical Complex Hospital in Khan Yunis with Ahmad suffering shrapnel wounds throughout the body and succumbing to his wounds, while the other was lightly wounded.




Al-Haq is deeply concerned with the grave escalation of widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population in Gaza, characterised by the targeted and planned carpet bombing of residential homes, and civilian infrastructure across the Gaza Strip, reducing the Gaza Strip to rubble and designed to fragment and cripple the territory from resisting Israel’s ongoing policies and practices of apartheid and fragmentation. 


Al-Haq calls for an immediate ceasefire and the prosecution of Israeli authorities and military generals acting with knowledge in the furtherance of international crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.