May 12, 2021: Nadeen Awad, 16, was killed along with her father Khalil Awad, 52, in front of their home in the Palestinian village of Dahmash in central Israel, about 20 kilometers from Tel Aviv, in the early morning of May 12.
The two were killed by a Palestinian resistance rocket, but Nadeen and Khalil Awad, were themselves Palestinian – with Israeli citizenship. But their town, Dahmash near Lod, being a mainly Palestinian village, was never provided bomb shelters like the Jewish Israeli towns were provided by the government. In fact, their village, Dhamas, was not recognized by Israeli authorities, and so lacks basic services and is under threat of demolition by the Israeli government. One of their relatives, Ismail Arafat, lives there as well and has been part of leading the struggle for recognition of the village.
The rocket attack that killed them occurred after the al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas armed wing, said in a statement on the evening of May 11 that they had “directed the largest rocket barrage toward Tel Aviv and its surrounding areas, with 130 rockets, in response to the enemy’s targeting of civilian buildings.”
In the midst of a deadly night in Gaza in which Israeli bombardment killed at least 34 Palestinians in a single night of bombing, Palestinian resistance fighters retaliated in the early morning hours with the launch of rockets toward Israel, killing six Israelis.
The rockets were fired in the early morning hours on Wednesday, as Gaza’s hospitals were besieged with hundreds of wounded Palestinians, many of them children, who suffered traumatic and severe injuries from the numerous Israeli missile strikes into crowded Palestinian neighborhoods throughout Gaza on Monday and Tuesday.
In addition to bombing Palestinian neighborhoods for two straight days, the Israeli military called up 5,000 reservists and had them stationed at the border with Gaza to threaten the Gaza Strip with a possible ground invasion.
The Palestinian resistance responded to this violent aggression with rocket fire directed toward Tel Aviv. This marks the longest-range rockets that have been fired by the Palestinian resistance to date. Other rockets fired in the past have reached as far as the coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon (formerly the Palestinian town of Azkalan), but had not had the range or capacity to reach the Israeli capital Tel Aviv (built on the former Palestinian town of Yaffa) before.
Israelis in the cities of Sderot, Holon and Ashkelon rushed to shelters and many stayed there overnight to try to avoid the impact of Palestinian resistance rocket fire.
Israeli media reported that at 8:45 A.M. on Wednesday, Israeli forces intercepted a drone crossing from Gaza into Israel.
The Israeli news agency Ha’aretz quoted Ismail Arafat as saying, “We have nowhere to go. We don’t have a bomb shelter here for everyone. For the Thai [migrant] workers they built shelters, but we were not allowed because we are not humans. Nadine and Khalil were in the middle of breakfast before fasting [for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan]. It seems that he opened the door and that’s how he was hit.”