He Refused to Collaborate, So They Killed Him – Why Israel Turned against the Gaza Clans

Mukhtar Ismail al-Nono was killed by Israel on March 20. (Photo: via AJA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli warplanes bombed al-Nono’s home on March 20, killing him along with his wife, two of his children and two grandchildren.

Palestinian institutions and figures accused Israel of deliberately assassinating Mukhtar Ismail al-Nono, a renowned Gaza dignitary who refused to collaborate with Israel in its attempt to create an alternative to Hamas in the Strip. 

For weeks, Israel has been laboring to create an alternative governing body in Gaza. 

Repeatedly, however, representatives of clans and large families have refused to work with Israel. This rejection, however, came at a price. On March 19, 23 clan committee members, who were involved in aid distribution efforts, were killed in a gruesome Israeli massacre at the Kuwait Roundabout in Gaza City. 

Then, Israel began killing individuals within the Gaza police who are responsible for coordinating aid distribution with the Gaza clans. Three top police officers were assassinated between Monday and Tuesday. They included Fayeq al-Mabhouh, who was assassinated when Israeli forces stormed Al-Shifa Medical Complex on Monday. 

Scores Killed – Israel Massacres Clan Committee Members while Distributing Aid in Gaza

Al-Nono is the latest casualty. 

Israeli warplanes bombed al-Nono’s home on March 20, killing him along with his wife, two of his children and two grandchildren, Al-Jazeera reported.

The murder of the respected Gaza elder followed Israel’s failure to assuage the clans to betray the Gaza government and resistance. 

When it became obvious that its plan was not working, Israel agreed with the UN Palestinian refugees agency, UNRWA, for the latter to take charge of the humanitarian aid, which would ultimately be delivered to starving Palestinians using clan members. 

Soon after, however, the Israelis canceled the agreement and massacred dozens of clan members, followed by some leaders of the clans. 

In a press statement commenting on the targeting of activists involved in the distribution of aid, UNRWA media adviser Adnan Abu Hasna said that Israel “did not provide an explanation for its withdrawal from arrangements to provide aid to northern Gaza.”

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Ismail al-Nono

Ismail al-Nono, 58 was a businessman who owned Alpha Electronics, a company specializing in telecommunications services. 

In addition to his businesses, al-Nono played a prominent role in social and charitable activities, chairing the Salah al-Din area reform committee east of Gaza City, in addition to being chosen as the leader for the al-Nono family.

Over the past few years, al-Nono sponsored many initiatives aimed at sustaining peace in Gaza City, working with other clans to resolve social problems and support those in need. 

Last February, al-Nono posted on Facebook that Israel had burned his house down, destroying it completely several days later, along with the headquarters of his company.

Reasons for Assassination

The Director General of the Government Media Office in Gaza, Ismail Al-Thawabta, confirms that the assassination of al-Nono is directly related to his refusal to cooperate with the occupation.

In a statement sent to Aljazeera.net, he said that “Mukhtar Ismail al-Nono and his family were assassinated against the background of his refusal to cooperate with the occupation in the subject of aid as an alternative to the administrative reality in the Gaza Strip.”

Al-Thawabta condemned “Israeli terrorism” in targeting the man who has labored to provide urgent aid to the starved and displaced refugees throughout Gaza. 

He stressed that the popular committees do not work under the framework of Hamas or its government in Gaza, but according to an agreement between international organizations, meaning UNRWA, and the Israeli occupation.

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For his part, the head of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, Rami Abdo, revealed that al-Nono “categorically rejected” offers from the Israeli occupation authorities to cooperate with them in distributing aid, and “managing the affairs of the Gaza Strip” as an alternative to Hamas.

“Several meetings were held in which al-Nono participated, and he, along with other mukhtars, rejected the Israeli proposals, and rejected any violation of the rule of law in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Even then, al-Nono and other family elders continued to receive calls from the Israeli Coordinator of Army Activities for West Bank and Gaza Strip, demanding that they must cooperate.

Al-Nono’s answer, as conveyed by Abdo, was firm: “This will not happen, and there will be no cooperation with Israel as an occupying power.” 

Al-Nono was later directly threatened that he would ‘lose’, as in he will pay a price for his refusal to collaborate with Israel, leading to his assassination with his wife and other members of his family on March 20. 


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  1. Since Gaza has been surveilled for so long by Israel, and since Israel knows who lives where, etc, in Gaza, and since Israel uses “Precision-Guided” weapons, this should be taken up with the ICC as murder. Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nürnberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal
    Principle VI […] War Crimes: Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, […]

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