Israeli strike on Gaza city home kills 25 members of one family, says witness

Victims described by neighbour as ‘normal people who didn’t belong to any resistance activities’

A man mourns as the bodies of Palestinians killed in an Israeli airs strike on the house in the Daraj neighbourhood of Gaza are city brought to the morgue of Al Ahli Baptist Hospital on Friday. Anadolu via Getty Images
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At least 25 people were killed and dozens injured by an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza city on Friday, relatives of victims told The National.

Rescuers reported people calling for help from beneath the rubble, but said they have been unable to reach them.

The strike targeted the home of the Al Tabatibi family in the Sidra area of the Daraj neighbourhood, in the north-west of Gaza's old city.

Witnesses told The National about 30 members of the Al Tabatibi family and people from the Shaban and Humad families were in the house, which had several floors.

“The Israeli warplanes targeted my cousin's house,” said Shadi Al Tabatibi, 33. “There were displaced people from the Al Tabatibi family and their relatives gathered there.

“The air strike killed more than 25 who were my relatives. They are normal people and don’t belong to any resistance activities.”

Neighbour Hussein Al Hallou also said the family had no connection to armed groups.

“The house was bombed after midnight. It had many levels and was filled with people who, as we know them, have no affiliation with any group or military activity,” Mr Al Hallou, 28, told The National.

Dozens of injured people were taken on donkey carts to Al Ahli Hospital, he said.

“Civil defence teams attempted to search for those injured, but they were unable to, despite hearing many voices calling for help,” said Mr Al Hallou.

“Unfortunately, there were no resources available to assist those under the rubble.”

Mr Al Hallou said neighbours and civil defence teams were continuing to search for survivors and bodies, though usually without success.

“There are no tools or equipment available to help us, so we have not had any luck,” he said.

The Israeli military also launched air strikes on the northern areas of the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza while its troops blew up a number of buildings north of the camp.

Israeli warships shelled a primary school in the camp, killing one civilian and injuring dozens of others, Wafa said.

The attacks follow an air strike on the popular Firas Market in Gaza city on Thursday that killed at least six people and injured 20 others.

Civil defence teams were working to recover bodies and people trapped under the rubble after the market was hit by two missiles, Wafa said.

The news agency said more deaths and injuries were reported after Israel bombed another market in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, without providing figures.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said at least 63 Palestinians have been killed and 45 injured in Israeli attacks across the enclave in the past 24 hours.

The number of people killed in the Gaza since the war began on October 7 rose to 33,545 on Thursday, most of whom were women and children, the ministry said. The number of injured reached 76,094.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that he planned to keep up the war in Gaza but was also preparing for scenarios in other areas.

Israel is concerned that Iran is preparing to retaliate for the killing of a senior general and six other Iranian officers in an air strike on the country's embassy compound in Damascus on April 1.

“Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We are prepared to meet all of the security needs of the State of Israel, both defensively and offensively,” Mr Netanyahu said in comments released by his office following a visit to the Tel Nof air force base in southern Israel.

Israel has not said it was responsible but Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday that Israel “must be punished and it shall be” for the Damascus attack.

Updated: April 12, 2024, 1:24 PM