The death toll in the Gaza Strip continues to climb as Israel’s military offensive against the Strip enters its eleventh consecutive day. With the United States persistently obstructing a Security Council statement on the escalated violence in Gaza, Israel is further emboldened to commit more of what manifestly amounts to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Indeed, over the past 11 days, Israel’s air and artillery forces have deliberately targeted and destroyed residential buildings and other civilian properties in different densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip, resulting in mass evacuations and the displacement of hundreds of Palestinian families.
The intensity and frequency of these attacks, with heavy munitions employed, have created an atmosphere of terror, in what amounts to psychological warfare that increasingly subjects Palestinian families to suffering and harm.
Al Mezan’s field monitoring shows that in the past 24 hours alone, another 11 Palestinians have been killed, including two children and three women, and another 100 were wounded, including 28 children and 27 women, in Gaza. Nine residential buildings were destroyed.
Overall, Al Mezan’s field monitoring shows that in the course of the current offensive on Gaza, 231 Palestinians have been killed, including 65 children and 39 women (just over 45% of victims), while another 1,212, including 277 children and 204 women (just over 39% of victims), have suffered injuries. The number of targeted residential buildings now stands at 149, including six towers—three of which were completely destroyed—which brings the total number of destroyed homes to 449.
In addition, hundreds of private properties, as well as dozens of governmental sites, schools, banks, and mosques have sustained significant damages. Israel’s airstrikes have also led to the large-scale destruction of power and water networks, as well as thousands of square meters of vital paved roads. Alarmingly, Israel’s military intensified attacks on agricultural lands, which prevented Palestinian farmers from accessing their means of subsistence and further threatened the food security and humanitarian conditions of the impoverished farming community.
At 2:00pm on 19 May 2021, Israel’s artillery fired at least ten shells at residential buildings on Al-Qarman Street in Beit Hanoun, North Gaza District. Among the shelled buildings was a three-story house belonging to Zakariya Mohammed Hamad. His son, Raed Zakariya Hamad, 32, was killed in the attack, while a child was wounded.
At 4:10pm on the same day, Israeli forces stationed in the southeast of Gaza City opened fire at agricultural lands to the east of Juhor ad-Dik, southern Gaza City, killing Hasan Sami Al-Borno, 63. Preliminary reports indicate that Al-Borno was fatally shot in the chest while he was working on a farm in the area.
Around the same time, medical sources at Al-Aqsa Hospital reported the arrival of three bodies, belonging to Iyad Abdelfattah Salha, 34, his eight-month pregnant wife, Amani Yousuf Muhawish, 38, and their two-year-old daughter, Nagham. Salha and his family were killed when a projectile hit their house in Deir Al-Balah, Middle Gaza District. Salha had reportedly been unable to walk for years due to a disability.
Simultaneously, another projectile hit a house in the same district, killing one resident, Fidaa Yahya Al-Qedra, 34. Her body was also transferred to Al-Aqsa Hospital.
In two separate incidents on the same evening, the bodies of Hasan Mohammed Salem, 21, and Aysar Abdelrahim Al-Halabi, 48, were transferred to Al-Shifa Hospital. Salem was killed when an Israeli airstrike targeted an apartment in a residential building belonging to the Zo’rob family near Al-Saraya roundabout in Gaza City at 3:00am, while Al-Halabi was killed in an Israeli airstrike that occurred earlier.
At 8:05pm on 19 May 2021, an Israeli airstrike targeted Saad Ali Asaliya’s house in eastern Jabalia, North Gaza District. Asaliya’s ten-year-old daughter, Deema, was killed in the attack.
At 5:10am on 20 May 2021, Israel’s air force fired two missiles at Mohammed Khaled Al-Khawalda’s house in Khan Younis, South Gaza District, completely destroying it and damaging nearby houses. Huda Salah Al-Khuzandar, 36, was killed, while her husband and daughter, as well as seven neighbors, were wounded in the airstrike.
At 11:55 on the same morning, Israel’s air force fired one missile at a group of people in Al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia, North Gaza District, killing one man. According to medical sources at Al-Shifa Hospital, the victim’s identity has not been identified due to the severity of his wounds.
Al Mezan reiterates its strongest condemnation of Israel’s incessant targeting of civilians and civilian properties and clarifies that chronic inaction by the international community is instrumental in perpetuating Israel’s continued tactics. Therefore, Al Mezan calls on the international community to take prompt action to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip.
Note: amid the current challenging work environment, keeping up with daily developments is our priority. Therefore, the information that is available at this stage represents Al Mezan’s preliminary monitoring and documentation work. Upon a conclusion to Israel’s offensive, Al Mezan will promptly carry out a thorough documentation effort.