Military fires missile at house, killing passerby
The person killed

Mahmoud Muhammad Isma’il Khaled, 24

Testimony of Ahmad Khaled, 21, Mahmoud’s brother:

On Friday, 14 May 2021, around midday, I was at home. Our building has two apartments. One is mine and in the other, my parents live with my brother Mahmoud and his wife, who’s five months pregnant, and their daughter Ahlam, who’s a year and a half old.

At around 1:30 P.M., Mahmoud came back from the bakery at the entrance to a-Nuseirat Refugee Camp where he’d been working for the last year. He wanted to have lunch quickly, so he could buy groceries at the market before he had to get back to work. A few minutes after he went out, I heard fighter jets bomb the camp. The sound was terrifying and very loud. The neighbors said the strike was aimed at the home of Ayman Nofal, who’s a Hamas operative, and at the home of the ‘Issa family, whose sons also belong to Hamas.

I went outside immediately, because Ayman’s house is very close to ours. I saw that the house was in ruins. There were many civilians there searching for wounded people under the rubble. I joined them and we got several wounded people out, including an unconscious baby, an elderly man who had been injured in the head, a woman who was injured in her hands and face, and a guy who was injured in the chest. They were carried to Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances, except for one guy who was evacuated in a civilian car.

I went back home. About two hours passed and my brother Mahmoud still hadn’t come back. We started worrying about him and I called the bakery where he worked, but they told me he hadn’t returned. At the same time, we heard on the news that there was an unidentified martyr from al-Bureij Refugee Camp at a-Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital.

I went with my uncle Khalil, 62, and his two sons, Isma’il and Zeid, to the hospital and we asked to see the body. When they opened the refrigerator, I saw a body that was completely mutilated, especially around the head and face. I looked at his pants and checked the left hand, because one of Mahmoud’s fingers was cut off at the tip. Then I recognized it was my brother. I blacked out and didn’t know what was going on around me.

I woke up at home, surrounded by some of my friends. We later found out that the rescue teams had located Mahmoud while I was searching for wounded people under the rubble. They found him inside warehouses under a nearby house, about six meters away from the house that had been bombed. He’d probably been passing by the house as the missile hit it and was blown away by the force of the blast. The warehouse doors were completely destroyed.

We buried my brother the next day, in the cemetery of al-Bureij Refugee Camp. His hobby was hand wrestling and he was a large, strong man. He’d been into bodybuilding since he was 14 and worked out regularly. Mahmoud provided for my parents. My father used to work as a driver, but a few years ago he got sick and stopped working. Mahmoud worked every spare moment to support the family. He didn’t belong to any faction or political organization.

  • The bombed house belonged to a senior member of Hamas.

  • Testimony given to Khaled al-‘Azayzeh on 27 May 2021

Ahmad Khaled, 21, Mahmoud’s brother
Ahamd Khaled

I saw a body that was completely mutilated, especially around the head and face. I looked at his pants and checked the left hand, because one of Mahmoud’s fingers was cut off at the tip. Then I recognized it was my brother. I blacked out and didn’t know what was going on around me.