In 2012, I met an amazing man, Tariq Darwish, with an amazing gift in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip. He could recite from memory the name, age, and circumstances of death of every Martyr (that’s the term that Palestinians give to those who die at the hands of Israel). I don’t know how he did it but last summer I often thought about him during Israel’s so-called Operation Protective Edge.
Israel’s Hasbara team tried its best to minimize the Palestinians’ suffering in the eyes of the world by dehumanizing them, blaming Hamas for their deaths (“Hamas forced us to fire on houses with civilians inside”) and by referring to the victims by numbers.
Here are their names. By the end of only a single day (July 12, 2014), Israel had struck 180 targets in Gaza, resulting in 51 deaths. Palestinian militants fired 125 rockets towards Israel that day, with no fatalities.
These are the Palestinian Martyrs killed on July 12, 2014.
- At 01:20, after his wife was phoned with a warning, two drone missiles struck the house of a member of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Ghaleb Kamel Mansour, in al-Junaina, Rafah; a follow-up IAF strike destroyed the house.
- At 01:30, a strike on al-Nasr Street killed Yousif and Anas Qandil, father and son, who reportedly had fled their home, hoping to avoid collateral damage from shrapnel when their neighbours received a Israeli warning of an imminent strike on a nearby house. With others, they took shelter under a tree, where they were killed.
- At 01:35 (var. 00:35), a drone missile hit a site, described variously as either the yard of Anwar Aziz Mosque or Martyr Anwar Aziz Square in Jabaliya, killing four people: Hissab Deeb Razaina (39), Abdul Rahman Saleh al-Khatib (38), Yousef Mohammed Mandil (39), and Mohammed Edris Abu Swailem, as well as wounding five others.
- At 01:45, an IAF strike destroyed Mohammed and Shawqi Afana’s 2-storey house, with collateral damage to a nearby home; seven civilians wounded.
- At 2:15 a.m, an IAF airstrike demolished the al-Farouq Mosque in Nuseirat refugee camp.
- At 04:55 (or about 04:30, coinciding with the muezzin’s prayer): warning missiles, not heard by the hostel patients, were fired, but the disabled had no means to evacuate in time. Two mentally and physically disabled women, Ola Washahi (aka Ola Hussein Enshassi; aged 30 or 31) and Suha Musbah Abu Sa’da (aged 39 or 47) were killed, while several other people sustained injuries when the IAF struck a charitable care home for the handicapped in Beit Lahiya. A caregiver was hospitalized for burns.
- At 05:05, an IAF strike demolished a Wassef Charity office in al-Maghazi.
- At 05:30, 3 drone-launched missiles partially destroyed Ahmed Ezzat Abu Ahmed’s 2-storey in Rafah’s al-Shaboura refugee camp, wounding Mohammed al-Houbi (12).
- At 05:45, an IAF missile destroyed the Rafah office of the Ministry of Labor.
- At 05:55, a drone missile hit the Islamic National Bank in the al-Agha building in central Khan Yunis, damaging flats and a nearby house.
- At 06:45, an IAF airstrike struck militants belonging to the al-Mujahidin Brigades near the al-Katiba Mosque in Ansar, Gaza City, killing three: Mohammed Rif’at al-Syouti (20), Mohammed Bassem al-Halabi (25) and Nabil As’ad Bassal (29).
- At 07:10, an IAF airstrike killed three police officers in a park in al-Tuffah: Ibrahim Nabil Hamada (22), Hassan Ahmed Abu Ghoush (28), and Ahmed Mahmoud al-Bal’awi (23).
- At 07:30, 2 drone-launched missiles hit the home of Islamic Jihadist Mohammed Jamal Timraz, in the Tel al-Sultan refugee camp, west of Rafah. A neighbour was phoned to evacuate the house beforehand. Shortly thereafter, an IAF missile destroyed it.
- At 13:00, Al-Shifa Hospital staff in Gaza City announced the death of Safaa Mustafa Malaka (16), who had been wounded on 9 July in an attack on the family home in al-Zaytoun.
- At 13:40, an IAF missile struck a site where several civilians reportedly seated under the al-Malash family apartment building in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, killing six. The dead were: Nidal Mohammed Ibrahim al-Malash (22), Azmi Mahmoud Taha Obaid (51), Suleiman Sa’id Younis Obaid (56), Mustafa Mohamemd Taha Enaya (58), Ghassaan Ahmed al-Masri (25), and Rateb Subhi Yousef al-Saifi (22).
- At 15:30, 2 drone-launched missiles hit No’man Wa’el al-Nahhal’s house in Rafah’s western al-Mawasi area, wounding his wife, Samar Fat’hi al-Nahhal (36); five minutes later, an IAF missile demolished the house.
- At 16:30, an IAF missile was fired at a group of militants at the Doula intersection in al-Zaytoun, Gaza City, killing Ahmed Yousef Dalloul (37) and wounding three people.
- At 17:30, an IAF bombing of a garden plot in al-Nazzaz Street in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood killed Ghazi Mohammed Mustafa Oraif (62) and his son, Mohammed (35), while they were reportedly tilling the earth.
- At 17:30, a drone missile struck Jum’a Saber Khalifa’s 3-storey house, where 29 people resided, in the al-Nussairat refugee camp, followed shortly after by an IAF missile strike, killing a neighbor, Khawla Mohmmed Sarhan al-Hawajri (aged 25).
- At 17:30 (19:30?), a drone-launched missile damaged the office of the Deir Yassin Cultural Association in al-Tannour, east of Rafah.
- At 18:10, a drone missile fired at a group of militants, killing one person, Mohammed Abdullah Mohammed al-Sharatha (28), and wounding another east of Jabaliya.
- At 19:30, a drone-launched missile struck the 2-storey house of Mohammed al-Bawab, an Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades operative, south of Rafah; an IAF strike demolished it 10 minutes later.
- At 22:25, a drone-launched missile targeted two members of the al-Quds Brigades in the al-Zohour neighborhood north of Rafah, killing Muhannad Yousef Dubahir (21) and mortally wounding Izziddin Na’im Bulbul (27), who died in hospital three hours later.
- At 22:30, in al-Tuffah, 2 IAF missiles, following a Hamas barrage of missiles towards Israeli cities, targeted the head of Gaza’s Hamas police, Gen. Tayseer al-Batsh. Initial accounts vary: either he was targeted as he was leaving a mosque in al-Tuffah, Gaza City, or the house where he was sheltering was hit by two bombs. In the latter case, he was injured while taking shelter in the house of his cousin, Majid al-Batsh, and the bombs demolished the house, and killed 21 or 22 members of the family inside. The attack killed 21 or 22 people and wounded between 35 and 45 people, including the general. It marked the single most deadly assault since the outbreak of hostilities. Ynet reported that the mosque was the primary target, that several militants, some intending to launch rockets, were among the 21 dead, and that the IDF “does not view the incident as a work accident”. The attack, reportedly without prior warning struck Majed Subhi al-Batsh’s 2-storey house, home to two families, close by the al-Haramain Mosque in al-Tuffah, killing 11 family members:
- Majed Subhi al-Batsh (50),
- Bahaa Maj al-Batsh (28) his son,
- Amal Hassan Mohammed al-Batsh (49), his wife,
- Samah Alaa Subhi al-Batta (20), eight-months pregnant, daughter-in-law,
- Amal Bahaa al-Batsh (2), his grandchild,
- Jalal Majed al-Batsh (26), his son,
- Khaled Majed al-Batsh (20), his son,
- Mahmoud Majed al-Batsh (22), his son,
- Ibrahim Majed al-Batsh (18), his son,
- Marwa (25), his daughter,
- Manar Majed al-Batsh (13), his child.
- Several nearby houses owned by Majed al-Batsh’s brothers suffered considerable damage; the following were killed: Nahid Na’im Subhi al-Batsh (41), Qusai Issam Subhi al-Batsh (12), Mohammed Issam al-Batsh 17), Aziza Yousef Ahmed al-Batsh (59), Yihya Alaa Subhi al-Batsh (18), and Anas Alaa Subhi al-Batsh (7).
15 other al-Batsh family members were wounded, 6 seriously.
- At 23:05, a drone-launched missile struck a vehicle belonging to the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, in Abu Bakr Street, western Rafah, seriously wounding Ziad Mahmoud al-Shawi (42).
- At 23:40, a drone-launched missile successfully targeted a member of the al-Quds Brigades, Emad Bassam Zo’rob (23), in al-Siamat Street, northern Rafah. Two people who came to his assistance were struck by another missile, killing one, Fadi Mohammed Zo’rob (23), instantly. The other, Haitham Ashraf Zo’rob (20), died five hours later in hospital.
B’tselem estimated by noon on Saturday, 12 July, that of the 114 Palestinians killed, 27 had been killed while engaged in combat. Of the remainder, 26 were minors,13 were women (under age 60) and 5 were senior citizens. From 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, Palestinian sources stated that 43 people, including 39 civilians, while 139 were wounded. 23 houses were demolished in air attacks.
Cites and references for the information compiled above can be found here.
I’m saying a prayer tonight while reading each victim’s name from July 12, 2014