A B’Tselem inquiry shows that on the morning of 17 November 2012, an Israeli attack targeted three armed men in Rafah. Two of them were killed on the spot and a third was wounded. Shortly afterwards, while 'Awad a-Nahal, age 31, a resident of a nearby house, was trying to evacuate the injured man, a second attack killed both the armed man and the civilian trying to evacuate him.
Nahed a-Nahal, farmer
I live in the city of Rafah, in an apartment in our family’s building. The building's three other apartments are occupied by my three brothers and their families: 'Awad (age 31), Ibrahim (age 34), and Imam (age 23). Surrounding our house is a lemon grove and a sheep pen for the livestock we raise together. I work on the family farm.
Since the military operation was launched, we have stayed inside, going out only when absolutely necessary. Most of the time, we stay together in one of the apartments and follow the developing events.
There is an atmosphere of fear and trepidation about what may happen and we hear explosions all the time, both near and far. So far, many of the bombings were in fields or other open spaces, but we are afraid a bomb might miss its appointed target and hit homes instead. The situation is particularly distressing to the smaller children. They are afraid all the time and have trouble falling asleep at night.
Yesterday, shortly after 8:00am, while the whole family was sitting together, we heard a tremendous explosion in the lemon grove near our house. Immediately, I went out with my brothers 'Awad and Ibrahim, and my cousin Isma’il who was visiting us. We were concerned that the blast might have hit the sheep pen and wanted to make sure that the sheep were all right. None of us thought that the same spot would be bombed again.
My brother 'Awad was faster than we were and was a few steps ahead of us. I was walking behind him as were Ibrahim and Isma’il. We reached the sheep pen and saw the three men who had been hit. Two of them were already dead. The third man was injured and was trying to run away. I saw my brother 'Awad trying to help him. Suddenly I heard a piercing whistling and saw another bomb land a few meters away from my brother and the injured man. There was an explosion and shrapnel hit 'Awad in the head and chest. He was killed on the spot. The injured man was also killed.
My brother Ibrahim was hit by shrapnel in the leg and the shoulder, and Isma’il was also hit by shrapnel in the leg.
An ambulance transported my brother, my cousin and the dead men to the hospital. Ibrahim and Isma'il suffered injuries that were not severe and they have already been released from the hospital.
Nahed Hamadi Hassan a-Nahal, is a farmer and a resident of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. He gave his testimony to Musa Abu Hash'hash on 18 November 2012, by telephone.