The Israeli airstrike that killed Prof. Refaat al-Areer was apparently deliberate, Euro-Med Monitor concluded on Friday. The apartment where Refaat and his family were sheltering was surgically bombed out of the entire building where it’s located, according to corroborated eyewitness and family accounts. This came after weeks of death threats that Refaat received online and by phone from Israeli accounts.

We call for an immediate investigation into this apparently deliberate and targeted killing of a prominent Palestinian academic, writer, poet, and activist.

On Wednesday at around 18:00, Refaat al-Areer was killed in his sister’s home in al-Sidra neighborhood in al-Daraj area in Gaza city along with his brother Salah and one of his children (Mohammed); his sister Asmaa and three of her children (Alaa, Yahia, and Mohammed); and a neighbor. His brother’s wife, Alaa, and two other children, Rafik and Alma, were wounded in the assault.

The airstrike surgically targeted the apartment on the second floor where Rafaat was in a 3-storey building, and not the entire building; indicating the apartment was the target and not possible collateral damage.

Refaat was displaced multiple times during this war and ended up at his sister’s home along with his parents, wife and children. A few days ago, Refaat moved with his wife and children to an UNRWA school in al-Tufah neighborhood in Gaza according to his family.

However, a close friend of Refaat’s told Euro-Med Monitor that he had received an anonymous phone call from someone who identified himself as an Israeli officer and threatened Refaat that they knew precisely the school where he was located and were about to get to his location with the advancement of Israeli ground troops.

While the credibility of the threat itself is unclear, it contributed to prompting Refaat to move back to his sister’s apartment, believing it was more concealed than an open and overcrowded school where it would have been difficult to hide.

For weeks since the start of this war, Refaat has been receiving numerous death threats and hateful messages from Israeli accounts on social media after prominent public figures singled him out for harassment and incitement.

In 2014, Israel bombed Refaat’s home in Shejaiya and killed over 30 of his and his wife’s families.