Palestinian Killed by Gaza Rocket in Israel Had Nowhere to Run, Neighbors Say

Mahmoud Abu Asba, 48, was a construction worker who lived in Ashkelon with a special permit and is survived by his six children. His neighbors said the building 'has no shelters'

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Mahmoud Abu Asba, the Palestinian man killed by a Gaza rocket in Asheklon.
Mahmoud Abu Asba, the Palestinian man killed by a Gaza rocket in Asheklon.

The civilian who was killed on Monday night when a rocket hit an apartment building in Ashkelon has been identified as Mahmoud Abu Asba, a 48-year-old man from Halhul, a town near Hebron in the West Bank.

Abu Asba was located thanks to a neighbor, Shlomi Lankri, who passed by the ruined building after emergency services had left the scene. Lankri noticed the fingers of a woman who was buried under the rubble. She and another woman, both in their forties, were pulled out of the ruins, one in critical and the other in serious condition.

>> Read more: Israelis on Gaza border brace for more attacks after violent 24 hours ■ Analysis: Hamas tries to dictate new rules, but may be misjudging Israel

Lankri had come to the site to document the destruction at around 1 AM. He said he noticed some movement and started digging in the rubble with the help of another man who arrived on the scene. Together they pulled out Abu Asba and one of the women. Abu Asba was declared dead at the site.

One of Abu Asba’s neighbors said that there were no shelters in the building. “There is nothing here, it’s all closed” he added. “People converted what there was into storage spaces. Even if there was a shelter, older people wouldn’t have reached it. All the older people left after the rocket hit.”

None of the neighbors knew Abu Asba and there were rumors in the neighborhood that he was a collaborator or that he was in the city without a permit. However, it turns out that he worked in Israel with a permit. Like other workers, he had obtained permission from the defense establishment to remain in Israeli territory instead of leaving the country's borders after each workday. He worked at construction sites during the day, returning to the apartment at night. The rocket which hit the building buried him under the rubble.

The front of the building that was hit by a rocket in Ashkelon.Credit: Ilan Assayag

A grocery owner nearby said that Abu Asba had lived there for at least two months and shared the apartment with other workers, who were not there on Tuesday morning. The grocery owner added that one of the injured women also lived in that apartment. Neighbors said she was Palestinian, but didn’t know her name or any other details.

Abu Asba was the first casualty in Israel in this round of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, which began on Sunday.

Abu Asba's family said in a statement released on Tuesday that he left his house in Halhul on Sunday and that his wife was with him in the apartment in Ashkelon when the building was hit by the rocket.

His family is expected to come to Israel to identify his body. His funeral is slated to take place in Halhul. Abu Asba is survived by six children- four sons and two daughters.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage