Trapped alone amidst a sea of fire and bodies of her family, the desperate pleas of 6-year-old Hind Rajab fell on deaf ears. The young Palestinian girl from Gaza, whose harrowing story moved people across the globe, was found dead on Saturday.
Two weeks ago, Hind and her family tried to escape the escalating conflict. However, their vehicle was targeted by IDF tanks. Miraculously, she survived and managed to call her relatives. But she was alone with the bodies of her family in a car amidst gunfire for hours in the heart of an Israeli operation in Gaza City.
“She was scared, injured, and terrified,” her grandfather recounted. A switchboard operator from the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) confirmed having spoken to Hind, only to hear gunfire in the background. Despite her desperate pleas for help, no one could reach her.
For over three hours, Hind pleaded for rescue, surrounded by the bodies of her relatives shot by the Israeli forces in front of her eyes. – PRCS, February 3, 2024
Despite desperate attempts to rescue her, no one heard from Hind after these calls. The Red Crescent confirmed that she spent her last hours begging for help, trapped among the bodies of her family, shot by Israeli forces. At just six years old, Hind was another child victim of war.
The bodies of Hind and her family members were discovered on Saturday morning in the car near a gas station in Tel al-Hawa, after the Israeli tanks had withdrawn. Her family blamed the Israelis for their deaths. The bodies of two PRCS rescuers who were sent to save her were also found, their ambulance nearby.
Ravaged and Charred Ambulance
“Hind and everyone in the car were killed,” her grandfather, Baha Hamada, confirmed. He added that the car was discovered by other family members in an area previously inaccessible due to the Israeli military presence. The Hamas Ministry of Health confirmed Hind’s death and called for an investigation into the “heinous crime.”
The PRCS stated that the rescuers were “deliberately targeted” by the occupying forces while they were on a mission to rescue Hind. They released images of their destroyed and burnt ambulance, but the Israeli army did not respond to these accusations.
The war, which started on October 7, followed an unprecedented attack by Hamas commandos on Israeli soil. The attack resulted in the deaths of over 1,160 people, primarily civilians. In retaliation, Israel launched a military offensive that killed nearly 28,000 people in the Gaza Strip, most of whom were civilians.
According to Unicef, “thousands of children were killed and thousands more injured”. Half of the estimated 1.7 million displaced people in Gaza are children. Their homes have been destroyed, families torn apart, and they lack essential needs like water, food, and medicine.