6-year-old Hind Rajab in graduation attire

Six-year-old Palestinian girl Hind Rajab was killed along with five relatives and two medics sent to rescue her during an Israeli tank attack in Gaza City on January 29, 2024.

(Photo: family photo)

Missing 6-Year-Old Gaza Girl Hind Rajab Found Dead With Massacred Family, Rescue Workers

Rajab drew worldwide attention following the publication of her desperate plea for help as she sat surrounded by relatives slain by Israeli troops. Two paramedics sent to rescue the child were also killed by Israeli forces.

The decomposing body of a missing young Palestinian girl was found Saturday in Gaza surrounded by her dead relatives in a bullet-ridden, tank-crushed car near a blasted ambulance and the bodies of two paramedics killed by Israeli troops while trying to save the child.

The plight of 6-year-old Hind Rajab drew worldwide attention after the Palestine Red Crescent Society published a recording of a desperate phone call made by her 15-year-old cousin Layan Hamadeh to the PRCS as her family came under Israeli tank attack while trying to flee to safety in their car in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood of southern Gaza City at dusk on January 29.

"They are shooting at us. The tank is right next to me. We're in the car, the tank is right next to us," Hamadeh said before screaming as gunfire erupts and the call goes silent.

Along with Hamadeh, Rajab's aunt, uncle, and two other cousins were killed. But Rajab—who was wounded in the back and hand—initially survived.

"Come take me. Will you come and take me?" she begged PRCS dispatcher Rana al-Faqeh over the phone, telling her that she was afraid of the dark. "I'm so scared, please come!"

An ambulance was dispatched to rescue Rajab. But it, too, came under Israeli attack, and crew members Yusuf Zeino and Ahmed Al-Madhoun were killed.

In a statement, the PRCS alleged that Israeli forces "deliberately targeted the Red Crescent crew despite prior coordination to allow the ambulance to arrive at the site to rescue Hind."

PRCS spokesperson Nebal Farsakh toldThe Guardian that Israeli officials gave the ambulance a "green light" to enter the area.

"First [the paramedics] said the Israeli forces are putting laser lights on them," Farsakh said. "And then we heard a gunfire sound before we lost the connection. It was like a gunfire or explosion, we were not sure of what happened."

"We have very clear Red Cross emblems on top of all of our ambulances," she added. "This is horrible because when we have waited so many hours, leaving Hind appealing to us, crying, saying please come pick me up, and then, unfortunately, although we have waited all of these hours to guarantee our safe access, it wasn't a safe access."

Referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden, Wissam Najab, Hind's mother, told Al Jazeera that "God will punish Netanyahu and Biden and all those who conspire against us and deprived me of my daughter."

The Israel Defense Forces said it was "looking into" the incident.

Human rights defenders accused Israel of yet another war crime in its genocidal onslaught against Gaza. Since launching its retaliatory war after the October 7 Hamas-led attacks, Israeli forces have killed more than 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, while wounding over 67,600 others and leaving over 8,000 people missing and feared buried beneath rubble.

At least 12,150 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli bombs and bullets, according to Gaza officials. Witnesses say some of these children were executed in cold-blooded massacres.

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.