Five-year-old Palestinian girl found dead after being trapped in car under Israeli fire



CNN

A five-year-old Palestinian girl who was trapped in a car with her deceased relatives after it came under Israeli fire in Gaza last month has been found dead.

According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), on January 29, Hind Rajab was traveling in a car with her uncle, his wife and their four children, fleeing fighting in northern Gaza, when they came under Israeli fire to lay down.

“The child [Hind Rajab] and everyone in the car was found dead by the Israeli army near the Fares gas station in the Tal Al-Hawa area, southwest of Gaza City, after about two weeks of her unknown fate as a result of the Israeli military operation in the area,” said Khader Al Za’anoun, a Palestinian journalist working for CNN who spoke to the child’s grandfather.

The PRCS also confirmed the deaths of two paramedics who were dispatched to rescue the girl.

“The occupation deliberately targeted the Red Crescent crew, despite prior coordination to allow the ambulance to reach the site to rescue the Hind girl,” the statement said.

Shortly after the incident, CNN provided the Israeli military with details of the incident last Friday, including coordinates provided by the Palestinian Red Crescent. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said it was “not aware of the incident described.”

When contacted again by CNN, the IDF said they were “still looking into it.”

Hind’s cousin, 15-year-old Layan Hamadeh, made a desperate call for help to emergency services, which was recorded by PRCS and shared on social media. Audio of gunshots heard during the call revealed that Hamadeh was killed while making the call.

“They are shooting at us. The tank is next to me. We are in the car, the tank is right next to us,” Layan shouts, amid heavy gunfire in the background.

Layan then becomes silent and the rounds of fire stop.

The paramedic on the phone tries to talk to her and repeatedly says, “Hello? Hello?” but there is no response.

Alone, terrified and trapped in the car with the bodies of her relatives around her, Hind desperately called for help.

‘Come for me. Will you come take me with you? I’m so scared, please come!” Hind can be heard saying in a recording of the call to emergency responders released by the PRCS.

Hind’s mother Wissam Hamada said her daughter dreamed of becoming a doctor.

On Friday, she told CNN that she was “waiting for her every second. I wish her all the best, just as every mother wishes the best things and the most beautiful things in the world for her daughter.”

Clarification: The headline of this story has been updated to better characterize the circumstances of Hind Rajab’s death.

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