Hind Rajab Found Dead In Gaza After One Month

After One month Hind Rajab's Dead Body Found. Photo: Collected

After One month Hind Rajab's Dead Body Found. Photo: Collected

A six-year-old girl who went missing in Gaza City last month has been found dead, along with several of her relatives and two paramedics who tried to save her, after they appear to have come under fire from Israeli tanks. Hind Rajab was fleeing the city in a car with her aunt, uncle and three cousins at the time.

Audio recordings of calls between Hind and emergency call operators suggest that the six-year-old was the only one left alive in the car, hiding from Israeli forces among the bodies of her relatives. Her pleas for someone to rescue her ended when the phone line was cut amid the sound of more gunfire.

Paramedics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) managed on Saturday to reach the area, which had previously been closed off as an active combat zone. They found the black Kia car Hind had been travelling in - its windscreen and dashboard smashed to pieces, bullet holes scattered across the side. One paramedic told journalists that Hind was among the six bodies found inside the car, all of which showed signs of gunfire and shelling.

A few metres away were the remains of another vehicle - completely burnt out, its engine spilling onto the ground. This, the Red Crescent says, is the ambulance sent to fetch Hind. Its crew - Yusuf al-Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun - were killed when the ambulance was bombed by Israeli forces, the organisation says. In a statement, the PRCS accused Israel of deliberately targeting the ambulance, as soon as it arrived at the scene on 29 January.

"The [Israeli] occupation deliberately targeted the Red Crescent crew despite obtaining prior coordination to allow the ambulance to arrive at the scene to rescue the child Hind," it said. The PRCS told the BBC that it had taken several hours to coordinate access with the Israeli army, in order to send paramedics to Hind.

"We got the coordination, we got the green light," PRCS spokeswoman, Nibal Farsakh, told me earlier this week. "On arrival, [the crew] confirmed that they could see the car where Hind was trapped, and they could see her. The last thing we heard is continuous gunfire." Recordings of Hind's conversations with call operators - shared publicly by the Red Crescent - sparked a campaign to find out what had happened to her.

Hind's mother told us - before her body was discovered - that she was waiting for her daughter "any moment, any second". Now she is demanding that someone be held accountable. "For every person who heard my voice and my daughter's pleading voice, yet did not rescue her, I will question them before God on the Day of Judgement," she told the BBC. "Netanyahu, Biden, and all those who collaborated against us, against Gaza and its people, I pray against them from the depths of my heart."

At the hospital where she waited for news of her daughter, Hind's mother, Wissam, still holds the little pink bag she was keeping for her. Inside it, a notebook where Hind had been practising her handwriting.


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