Uninvolved: These Are the 36 Palestinian Civilians Killed During Israel’s Gaza Op

| Amira Hass pour Haaretz |

A grandma and her granddaughter, a father and his children, a toddler and his family – the price of the latest Israel-Gaza escalation. Of the 36, 19 were killed by misfired Palestinian rockets


Forty-nine Palestinians have been killed as a result from the latest military escalation between Israel and Islamic Jihad, which lasted three days. They include five girls, 11 boys and four women.

Thirty were killed during Israeli strikes. Of those, 17 civilians were non-combatants, among them three girls, a boy and four women. Botched launches of Palestinian rockets killed 19 non-combatants, including 12 children.

Islamic Jihad announced that 12 of its members were among the dead. They include commanders targeted by Israel, the personnel with them and members who were at military posts that were hit. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s military wing announced that one of its members was killed by army fire.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported 360 people wounded, including 150 children, 59 women, 130 men and 20 people 60 or over. Since its report on Wednesday, two other Palestinians have succumbed to their wounds.

Despite Palestinian media attributing all deaths to Israeli attacks, Gazans know well that a very high number of victims stemmed from failed rocket launches by Islamic Jihad.

It remains unknown whether militants from other groups were involved in botched launches. Human rights groups investigating each incident have learned by now to distinguish between Israeli rocket and artillery strikes, with the craters and dispersed shrapnel they leave, and rocket strikes with their debris.

The high number of fatalities from so-called internal fire has embittered Palestinians, some Gazans told Haaretz. Absent public discussion on the matter, it’s unknown whether militant groups investigate their fatal errors and their origins, be it something technical or lack of training, or if any measures are taken against rocket operators who killed Gazans with errant fire.

Hamas authorities, despite carefully staying out of the fighting, ordered Palestinian journalists working for the foreign press not to report on such fatal launches, according to the Associated Press. AP reported that the ban was lifted in the wake of protests by The Foreign Press Association in Israel and in the territories.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported on Tuesday 27 killed in Israeli attacks, remarking that it was continuing to investigate the circumstances of other incidents. It was clear to all that it meant incidents in which failed launches killed and wounded Palestinians.

There were four types of Israeli attacks over the three days of fighting. The first was intentional assassinations, by firing missiles at homes or apartment buildings in which the targeted person lived. The second was shelling fixed military positions. The third involved firing on motorcycle riders or groups in open territory, assuming or knowing that they were rocket-launching cells. The fourth was bombing homes without casualties, after warning their owners or residents. 

These are the names of the civilians killed and the circumstances of their deaths:

Friday, August 5 – Ten killed in Israeli military attacks, among them three not involved in the fighting.

4:15 P.M. – Imad Shallah, 50, and Alaa Qaddoum, 5.

They were with a group of people on Mansoura Street in Gaza City’s Al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood when a missile hit at them. A relative of Alaa, Youssef Qaddoum, 24, was also killed. Islamic Jihad announced that he belonged to the group. Alaa’s father, Abdallah, was seriously wounded.

4:30 P.M. – Doniana al Amour, 22.

She was killed when an artillery shell hit her home in the village of al-Fokhari, east of Khan Younis. Her paintings remained. She once told reporters that during military attacks she found refuge in painting.

Saturday, August 6 – Twenty-three killed, 17 of them not involved in the fighting; 10 by Israel and 7 by Palestinians.

8 A.M. – Layan al-Shaer, 10.

A helicopter-launched missile hit a group of people in the fields of Bani Suheila village, east of Khan Yunis. Two Islamic Jihad militants were killed. Layan was seriously wounded and brought to Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, accompanied by her mother. She died on Thursday.

1:30 P.M. – Naama Abu Qaida, 62, and her granddaughter Haneen, 10.

The two were attending the wedding of Naama’s son, Akram, in Beit Hanoun. According to PCHR, a missile fired from a drone hit the family as they were getting out of a jeep next to the bride’s home. Five were wounded, including Haneen, who died later. After her death, Gazans referred to Naama as “Umm al-Aris,” the mother of the groom.

4 P.M. – Nour al-Din al-Zuwaidi 18, and Ibrahim Abu Saleh, 48.

An Israeli artillery shell was fired at a group of people standing outside the Zuwaidi family home in northeast Beit Hanoun. Nour al-Din was killed on the spot. Ibrahim, his neighbor died of his injuries on Tuesday.

Evening – Nafez Mohammed al-Khatib, 50; Ahmed Walid al-Farram, 19; Khalil Iyad Abu Hamada,18; Momen Mohammed al-Nairab, 5; Ahmed al-Nairab, 10; Hazem Mohammed Salem, 9; and Mohammed Zaqout, 19.

They were killed when a Palestinian rocket hit a home in the Jabalya refugee camp.

9:30 P.M. – Mohammed Iyad Hassouna, 13; Ismail Abdelhamid Salama, 30; his mother Hanaa Ismail Dweik (Salama), 50; and Alaa Saleh al-Mallahi (al-Tawhrawi), 30.

They were killed during an Israeli assassination of an Islamic Jihad commander and his two companions, when missiles were fired at an apartment they stayed in, in the small and crowded refugee camp known as al-Shu’uth in Rafah.

Rescue teams worked until 5 A.M. to find survivors. Suad, the sister of Mohammed Hassouna, who was rescued from the wreckage, became well known just a week earlier when the matriculation exam results were published, and hers were among the highest in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Anas Khaled Anshasi, 22- He was seriously wounded in an Israeli military attack east of Khan Yunis. He died of his injuries on Friday.

Sunday, August 7 – Sixteen killed, none involved in the fighting – four by Israel and 12 by Palestinians.

Morning –Diaa Zuhair al-Borai, 32, and Ahmad Afaneh.

Diaa was killed by a misfired Palestinian rocket that hit his neighbor’s home in the Jabalya refugee camp. Ahmad was killed when he tried to rescue people from the wreckage, and a wall collapsed on him.

Probably morning – Fatma Obaid, 15.

She was killed by a misfired rocket while in Beit Hanoun.

Afternoon –Jamil al-Din Nijm, 3; Jamil Ihab Nijm, 13; Mohammad Nijm, 16; Hamed Nijm, 16; and Nathmi Karsh, 15.

The children were killed by a misfired Palestinian rocket that landed in the Al-Faluja cemetery, east of Jabalya. The Norwegian Refugee Council confirmed that Mohammad, Hamed and Nathmi were supported by its “education and psychosocial support program.”

7 P.M. – Khaled Yasin, 27; Shadi Kuhail, 26; Abed al-Rahman al-Silak, 19; and Mohammed Daud, 21.

A missile from an Israeli jet hit a horse-drawn cart at the al-Samer junction in central Gaza.

Khaled and Shadi were killed by a direct hit. The cart belonged to Shadi’s father, who works in the municipal sanitation department. Abed was killed while walking by that spot on his way home from his shoe shop in the Al-Shati refugee camp. Mohammed, a traffic police officer, was at the junction when he was mortally wounded. He died the next morning.

Evening –Yasser al-Nabahin, 49, and his children Dalya, 13, Mohammed, 12, and Ahmad, 9.

Residents of the Bureij refugee camp, they were killed by a Palestinian rocket. The father, a member of Hamas, was an officer in the police force serving at Gaza’s courts.

Hagar Shezaf and Jack Khoury contributed to this report.