Palestinian Girl among Istanbul Shooting Attack Victims

Leanne Zahir Nasser, 18. (Photo: via Ma'an)

A Palestinian citizen of Israel was confirmed to be among the 39 victims of a shooting attack at a New Year’s Eve party at an Istanbul nightclub. The body of 18-year-old Leanne Zahir Nasser was found after she had been declared missing, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed on Sunday, who said another Israeli citizen was still missing.

Nasser, from the Arab town of Tira in central Israel, was on a week-long vacation in Turkey along with three other women from Tira, relatives told Ma’an.

Nasser and her friends were among hundreds celebrating New Year’s Eve at the famous seaside Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortakoy neighborhood, when an attacker randomly opened fire inside the club, killing 39 people and wounding some 70 others. A Turkish policeman and a civilian were shot dead outside the club before the gunman entered the venue.

The mayor of Tira Maamun Abd al-Hayy and his deputy Walid Nasser, along with dozens of relatives of the bereaved family, gathered at Leanne’s family home to support them. Her parents flew to Istanbul to identify her body and bring it back to for burial.

Nasser’s friend, 18-year-old Rawa Sufian Mansour, sustained moderate wounds after she was hit in her hand and her leg. She was receiving treatment at a local hospital in Istanbul. Friends Alaa Abd al-Hai and Aya Abd al-Hai were suffering from anxiety.

Relatives had been unable to reach Nasser since the attack occurred at about 1:30 a.m., and only around noon discovered that she was dead. “We were seriously worried after news of the attack went viral on Facebook,” Nasser’s bereaved father told reporters. “We tried to contact Leanne, but all our attempts failed.” He said he was notified when his daughter’s hand bag and mobile phone were found at the scene.

Multiple Palestinians were among the victims of a triple suicide bombing at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in June, which left 36 dead and more than 140 injured.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

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