Killing the Mayor of Nuseirat – Why Israel Assassinated Dr. Iyad Maghari

The mayor of Nuseirat, Dr. Iyad Maghari, was assassinated in an Israeli strike. (Photo: supplied)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

Over the last few days, Israeli occupation forces intensified their operations in central Gaza, with particular focus on the Nuseirat refugee camp, one of the largest and the most populated of all refugee camps.

After bombing a school run by UNRWA, which is currently housing over 50,000 refugees, at dawn on Thursday – killing at least 40 – the Israeli army continued to target the camp’s residential areas and civilian infrastructure. 

On Thursday evening, an Israeli airstrike assassinated the mayor of Nuseirat, Dr. Iyad Maghari.

This is not the first time Israel has targeted civilian authorities in central Gaza. 

Last November, Israeli occupation forces assassinated the mayor of Al-Zahraa, Marwan Hamad, killing him and all members of his family. 

At the beginning of April 2024, the mayor of Al-Maghazi, Hatem Al-Ghamri, was also assassinated. 

Moreover, the headquarters of the municipalities of Al-Bureij, Al-Zawayda, Al-Mughraqa, and Al-Zahraa were completely destroyed, while the headquarters of the municipalities of Nuseirat and Deir Al-Balah were significantly damaged, as a result of Israeli military strikes.

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The Best Mayor

Before the war, Nuseirat was home to over 120,000 citizens, making it one of the largest refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. 

Since the beginning of Israel’s genocidal war on October 7, however, the Nuseirat refugee camp has become a destination for tens of thousands of displaced people. It is believed that the number of residents of Nuseirat at the moment may have doubled, in fact, tripled since the start of the war.

Recently, more refugees reached the central region, following the Israeli invasion of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on May 6.

The mayor of Nuseirat, Dr. Maghari continued to serve the residents of the camp and the displaced refugees until the very moment he was assassinated. 

“Maghari was one of the best mayors we have had in years. He was highly competent, close to the citizens, and constantly working to serve us,” Abu Hisham Haroun told The Palestine Chronicle.

“We are very saddened by the killing of our mayor. The occupation deliberately assassinated him to increase our suffering and deprive hundreds of thousands of displaced people of the essential services provided by the municipality since the beginning of the war,” he added.

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Heroic Management

Yahya Abu al-Jidian was one of the first to reach the site where the mayor of Nuseirat was murdered. 

“I found him holding the Holy Quran, lying on the ground as a martyr,” he told The Palestine Chronicle, with great emotion.

“Under Maghari’s leadership, the municipality was able to provide basic services to us, especially water,” he said.

“Everyone in Nuseirat is grateful to the mayor and the municipality workers. Even during the hardest conditions of the war, his management was so clever that water somehow reached our homes at least once a week.”

Musa al-Da’lasa hosts dozens of displaced people in his house. He, too, acknowledges Maghari’s heroic management of Nuseirat’s affairs, especially regarding water. 

“Even though water is scarce in Gaza, we were able to host many displaced people and provide them with water on a daily basis”.

According to al-Da’lasa, Israel deliberately assassinated Maghari in its war aimed at preventing any form of life in the Gaza Strip. 

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Not Deterred

The municipality of Nuseirat mourned its mayor in an official statement.

“With sorrow and grief, the municipality of Nuseirat mourns the martyr Mayor Dr. Iyad Ahmed Maghari, who was martyred in a cowardly Israeli airstrike that directly targeted him while he was in a municipal service facility.”

“The municipality of Nuseirat bids farewell to its courageous president who chose to fulfill his duty until his last moments, with dedication and devotion to serving our people,” the statement added.

“The martyrdom of the mayor will not deter us from continuing to perform our duty towards our people. We will continue our national, ethical, and professional role to serve them and support their steadfastness in the face of this aggression.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a contributor for The Palestine Chronicle from the Gaza Strip. His email is

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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  1. This is typical settler colonist terrorism behaviour – theo boject being to break people’s will. One thing this self-declared “Jewish” state has willfully ignored – similar actions by antisemitic governments during the previous 2 000 years never broke the will of Jewish communities to resist and remain Jewish. How this is supposed to break the will of Palestinians, is beyond me. It usually strengthens the will to resist in all cases of settler colonialism and abusive governments.

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