News ID: 261926
Published: 0440 GMT November 22, 2019

Palestinian dies of injuries after Israeli airstrikes

Palestinian dies of injuries after Israeli airstrikes

A Palestinian man has died more than a week after eight members of his family lost their lives in a string of airstrikes carried out by Israeli warplanes on the besieged Gaza Strip.

The spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement that 40-year-old Mohammad Salem Sawarka succumbed on Friday afternoon to the wounds he had sustained in the Israeli bombing of his home in the central town of Deir al-Balah, Presstv Reported.

In the early hours of November 14, four Israeli air raids targeted the home of Rasmi Abu Malhous, also known as Rasmi al-Sawarka, and his brother, Mohammad.

The strikes killed Rasmi, his second wife Maryam, 45, and three of his 11 children, Salim, 3, Mohannad, 12, and three-month-old Firas. The bombing also killed Mohamed's wife Yousra, 39, and two of their sons, Moaaz, 7, and Waseem, 13.

The deadly attack left Mohamed and 11 other members of the Abu Malhous family, mostly children, in critical condition at Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital.

Following the strike, the Israeli military announced on Twitter that the Abu Malhous family home had been targeted.

"Rasmi Abu Malhous, a leader of Islamic Jihad (resistance movement) and the commander of the rocket unit in the central Gaza brigade, was the target of … the raid on Deir al-Balah," the tweet read. The military also published a picture of Abu Malhous.

Neighbors and acquaintances, however, roundly dismissed the narrative. They said the man in the picture was not the person who was killed.

“This was a very simple, poor family, who lives from hand to mouth in a tin shack, with no water or electricity. They lived off herding sheep and were known as simple, poor people. Is this the way the head of a rocket unit or a senior Islamic Jihadist lives?” said a neighbor who knew the family.

“Every child in Gaza knows the unit members and senior activists live in different conditions, they have houses, and even when they go underground their children and families don’t live in such squalor. The story that they attacked a senior jihadist seems disconnected from reality.”

The Israeli military later acknowledged that it "made a mistake" in targeting the building. The airstrike came a few hours before a ceasefire brokered by Egyptian and UN officials came into effect.

Palestinian medical officials in the Gaza Strip said 34 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air raids over Gaza during two days of cross-border fighting between the Israel military and the Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

The fighting was triggered by Israel's targeted killing of a high-ranking Islamic Jihad commander identified as Baha Abu al-Ata.

 
 
   
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