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

A 5-year-old Palestinian girl who was trapped in a car with her dead relatives after it came under Israeli fire in Gaza last month has been found dead.

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

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

The PRCS also confirmed the death of two ambulance workers dispatched to rescue the girl.

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

Soon after the incident, CNN gave the Israeli military details about the incident last Friday, including coordinates provided by the Palestine Red Crescent Society. In response, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it was “unfamiliar with 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 that was recorded by the 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 right next to me. We’re in the car, the tank is right next to us,” Layan screams, amid intense gunfire in the background.

Layan then goes quiet, and the rounds of fire stop.

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

Alone, terrified and trapped in the car with the bodies of her relatives around her, Hind made a desperate call for help.

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

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

On Friday, she told CNN she was “waiting for her every second. I wish for her all the best, like any mother wishes for her daughter the best things and the nicest things in the world.”

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

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