How many people have died
from Gaza rockets into Israel?

Gaza rockets fired at Israel

Gaza rockets fired at Israel

Phan Nguyen
July 14, 2014

Fatalities from rocket and mortar attacks in Israel from the Gaza Strip, 2001–present
(up-to-date as of August 29, 2014)

Date of attack Location Weapon Name Age
2004.06.28 Sderot Qassam Mordechai Yosephov 49
Afik Ohion Zehavi 4
2004.09.29 Sderot Qassam Yuval Abebeh 4
Dorit (Masarat) Benisian 2
2005.01.15 Sderot Qassam Ayala-Haya Abukasis 17
2005.07.15 Moshav Nativ Ha‘asara Qassam Dana Gelkowitz 22
2006.11.15 Sderot Qassam Faina Slutzker 57
2006.11.21 Sderot Qassam Yaakov Yaakobov 43
2007.05.21 Sderot Qassam Shirel Friedman 32
2007.05.27 Sderot Qassam Oshri Oz 36
2008.02.27 Sderot Qassam Roni Yihye 47
2008.05.09 Kibbutz Kfar Aza mortar Jimmy Kedoshim 48
2008.05.12 Moshav Yesha Qassam Shuli Katz 70
2008.06.05 Kibbutz Nir-Oz mortar Amnon Rosenberg 51
2008.12.27 Netivot Qassam Beber Vaknin 58
2008.12.29 IDF base near Nahal Oz mortar Lutfi Nasraladin* 38
2008.12.29 Ashdod Grad Irit Sheetrit 39
2008.12.29 Ashkelon Grad Hani al Mahdi* 27
2010.03.18 Moshav Nativ Ha‘asara Qassam Manee Singueanphon* 30
2011.08.20 Be’er sheva Grad Yossi Shushan 38
2011.10.29 Ashkelon Grad Moshe Ami 56
2012.11.15 Kiryat Malachi Grad Yitzchak Amsalem 24
Mira Sharf 25
Aharon Smadja 49
2012.11.20 Eshkol Regional Council mortar Eliyan Salem el-Nabari* 33
2012.11.20 Eshkol Regional Council mortar Yosef Nachman Partok 18
2012.11.21 Eshkol Regional Council mortar? Boris Yarmolnik 28
2014.07.15 Erez Crossing mortar Dror Khenin 37
2014.07.19 village near Dimona rocket Ouda Lafi al-Waj* 32
2014.07.23 Ashkelon Coast RC mortar Narakorn Kittiyangkul* 36
2014.07.27? Sdot Negev RC mortar Barak Refael Degorker 27
2014.07.28 Eshkol RC mortar Eliav Kahlon 22
Meidan Maymon Biton 20
Niran Cohen 20
Adi Briga 23
2014.07.31 Eshkol RC mortar Daniel Marsh 22
Omri Tai 22
Shai Kushner 20
Noam Rosenthal 20
Liran Adir 31
2014.08.22 Sha‘ar HaNegev RC mortar Daniel Tregerman 4
2014.08.22 Gan Yavne Grad Netanel Maman 22
2014.08.26 Kibbutz Nirim mortar Ze’evik Etzion 55
Shahar Melamed 43

Total fatalities in the history of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel: 44

Civilians: 30 (including 2 killed at military posts)

Soldiers: 14

Rocket fatalities only: 23

Total fatality-producing strikes: 32 (19 rocket, 13 mortar)

Total rocket and mortar fatalities incurred in Israel during major Israeli “anti-rocket” military offensives: 27

Operation “Cast Lead”: December 27, 2008–January 18, 2009
Operation “Pillar of Cloud”: November 14, 2012–November 21, 2012
Operation “Protective Edge”: July 8, 2014–August 26, 2014
Additional fatalities from previously unexploded ordnance: 2
2006.03.28 Nahal Oz Qassam Salam Ziadin* ?
Khalid Ziadin* 16

(Refer to the bottom of the page for notes and sources.)

This page provides a current listing of total fatalities resulting from Gaza rockets and mortar shells into Israel and will be updated when necessary. Throughout news coverage of Israeli strikes into Gaza and rocket into Israel, certain numbers and infographics are bandied about frequently:

However, there is little attempt to describe other equally relevant data:

  • amount of ordnance fired by Israel into Gaza
  • types of weapons utilized by Israel, along with their firepower and range
  • a display of the potential reach of Israeli armaments superimposed on a map of the Gaza Strip

And perhaps most surprisingly,

  • the total number of people of who have been killed by Gaza rockets and mortars into Israel

The last count is especially important because of the rhetoric that relies on the threat level from Gaza rockets and mortars.

Additionally, discussion of the efficacy of Iron Dome has been almost exclusively relegated to the number of projectiles intercepted but not to the number of lives saved, which is presumably the ultimate goal. When a correlation is made between Iron Dome’s efficacy and the number of lives saved, it is often expressed in vague or implausible terms, such as “countless lives saved”, “hundreds of lives saved,” and even “thousands of lives saved.”

However, Iron Dome was rolled out in stages beginning March 27, 2011. In the ten years prior to Iron Dome, only 17 fatalities were incurred.

Outside of this site, there is no easily accessible listing of fatalities resulting from Gaza rockets and mortars into Israel. A previous listing prepared by me was written before the conclusion of Israel’s November 2012 offensive and is now out of date. Therefore I strive to maintain an up-to-date listing on this page for the benefit of journalists and analysts.

Faulty numbers on the internet

As I noted in my previous rocket fatality count, numbers distributed by Israeli agencies are wildly inaccurate and often contradictory. This is propounded by sources such as Wikipedia, which at the time of this writing repeats the discredited and unaccounted numbers provided by Israeli agencies.

As I also reported, injuries resulting from rocket and mortar strikes are exaggerated. Israel’s casualty counts always incorporate numbers of people who have been treated for “shock and anxiety,” as well as “light injuries” resulting from the rush to safety, such as “falling down the stairs.”

This practice is not employed in Gaza, nor for any other conflict. Journalists are urged to take these factors into account when reporting on numbers.

Changes from the previous table

In addition to adding the three fatalities that occurred after publication of my earlier listing, I have reformatted the table to indicate the number of fatalities resulting from each strike. In order to prevent confusion, I have also separated the two fatalities that resulted from handling unexploded ordnance.

Notes on the rocket and mortar fatalities table

Sources include, but are not limited to, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the Israel Project, the Jerusaelm Post, B’Tselem, and numerous press articles. I made a point of referring to official Israeli and pro-Israeli sources (which were less likely to undercount), and then cross-checking them with one another. Some ages and spellings of names vary among reports. The dates refer to when the victim was struck, not necessarily when the victim succumbed to injuries.

* Non-Jewish fatalities
Eight of the fatalities were non-Jewish (including the two who were killed handling unexploded ordnance): Salam Ziadin, Khalid Ziadin, Hani al Mahdi, Eliyan Salem el Nabari, and Ouda Lafi al-Waj were Bedouin; Lutfi Nasraladin was Druze; Manee Singueanphon and Narakorn Kittiyangkul were Thai nationals.

Military targets
Fourteen of the fatalities were military personnel, while another two were civilians killed at military posts. Sgt.-Major Lutfi Nasraladin was killed in a mortar attack on an IDF base near Nahal Oz. Cpl. Yosef Partok, Lt. Boris Yarmolnik, and Eliyan el-Nabari were each killed in separate incidents in military posts in the Eshkol Regional Council. Chief Sgt. Barak Refael Degorker was killed at an “assembly zone” near a kibbutz in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. Staff Sgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon, Cpl. Meidan Maymon Biton, Cpl. Niran Cohen, and Staff Sgt. Adi Briga were all killed by a mortar attack at a military post in the Eshkol Regional Council. Master Sgt. Daniel Marsh, Capt. Omri Tal, Sgt. First Class Shai Kushner, Master Sgt. Noam Rosenthal, and Capt. Liran Adir were killed at a military staging area in the Eshkol Regional Council. Cpl. Netanel Maman had participated in Gaza fighting but was on weekend leave when he was killed in a car just outside Gan Yavne. Of the civilians, El-Nabari had been contracted by the Israeli Defense Ministry to build tents for soldiers who were awaiting ground deployment, while Dror Khenin was killed while delivering food to soldiers near the Erez Crossing.

Fatalities from previously unexploded ordnance
Salam and Khalid Ziadin were killed while handling an unexploded Qassam rocket for salvaging. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not include the Ziadins in its list of “Victims of Palestinian Violence and Terrorism.”

This list does not include:

1. Palestinians killed by rocket or mortar misfire in the Gaza Strip.

2. People killed by Gaza rockets and mortars targeted inside the Gaza Strip.
Prior to the Gaza “disengagement,” illegal Israeli settlements within the Gaza Strip were targeted by rockets and mortars. They were not aimed inside Israel. They also do not form part of the rhetoric that rockets and mortars from Gaza constitute an “existential threat” to Israel.

In Gaza settlements and the Erez Industrial Zone, rocket and mortar attacks inflicted eight civilian fatalities: three Israeli Jews, three foreign laborers from Thailand and China, and two Palestinian laborers from Khan Younis.

Additionally there were two IDF fatalities in Gaza settlements, including a soldier killed while on his way to guard duty in Kfar Darom and a soldier killed at an IDF outpost in the Morag settlement.

All other rocket and mortar fatalities within Gaza were directed against IDF soldiers engaged in military operations outside of settlements.

3. One fatality in Israel by anti-tank missile.
The rockets-and-mortars rhetoric refers to high-trajectory ordnances deployed with the following qualities: indirect fire, which coupled with a high inaccuracy rate results in nondiscriminatory targeting; a wide range that encompasses significant portions of southern Israel; and a high deployment frequency.

Anti-tank missiles are direct-fire ordnances with a more limited range and have been used infrequently against civilian targets by Gazan armed groups. There has been one civilian fatality from an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel (Daniel Viflic, age 16, killed on April 7, 2011, near Kibbutz Sa‘ad, by an anti-tank missile that struck the bus he was riding in). B’Tselem does not include this instance in its count of rocket and mortar fatalities.

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