Hind Rajab: Girl, 6, found dead in Gaza days after plea for help

Hind Rajab, 6, was found dead in Gaza city (via REUTERS)
Hind Rajab, 6, was found dead in Gaza city (via REUTERS)

A six-year-old Palestinian girl who went missing in Gaza City last month has been found dead after relatives and paramedics tried to save her.

The body of Hind Rajab was found near a roundabout in the city on Saturday morning along with those of her uncle and aunt and their three children. The family had been attempting to flee the city on January 29 following an evacuation order.

In a statement, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) accused Israel of deliberately targeting the ambulance it sent to rescue the girl after she was heard begging phone dispatchers for help with the sound of shooting in the background.

Her pleas ended when the phone line was eventually cut.

“The occupation deliberately targeted the Red Crescent crew despite prior coordination to allow the ambulance to arrive at the site to rescue Hind,” the PRCS said.

In audio clips of the call released by the PRCS, Hind’s cousin Layan Hamadeh was heard saying that an Israeli tank was approaching before shots rang out and she screamed.

Hind then stayed on the line for three hours with dispatchers, who attempted to calm her down as they prepared to send an ambulance.

During the call, she is heard crying “come and get me” and “I’m so scared, please come”.

A photo released by the PRCS also shows the ambulance almost completely burnt out.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has not yet commented on the incident.

A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters: “While we continue to look into exactly what happened, we want to reiterate that civilians must be protected - no child should ever be terrified for their life, surrounded by the bodies of their family members. That these were potentially Hind's last moments is devastating and unbearable.”

In other developments, Israeli airstrikes killed at least 44 Palestinians – including more than a dozen children – in the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Saturday.

It came hours after Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the IDF to plan for the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in Rafah ahead of a ground invasion.

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are packed into Rafah, many after following Israeli evacuation orders that now cover two-thirds of the territory.

Israel claims that Rafah, which borders Egypt, is the last remaining stronghold after more than four months of war sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack on Israeli civilians.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned that any Israeli ground offensive on Rafah would have “disastrous consequences”.