This article contains distressing content.
A 6-year-old Palestinian girl who was trapped in a car in Gaza with her deceased family members is still missing days after the ambulance dispatched to rescue her lost contact with the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The child, Hind Rajab, was inside a vehicle with six other family members in Gaza City on Monday, including her 15-year-old cousin Layan Hamadeh. Hamadeh made a desperate call to the Red Crescent pleading for help when Israeli forces opened fire around the vehicle, an audio recording of which has been released by the PRSC.
“They are shooting at us. They are firing on us! The tank is right next to us,” Hamadeh says to the dispatcher on the phone call, followed by the sound of screams from inside the vehicle and a barrage of gunfire.
According to the Red Crescent, Hamadeh was killed in the shootout along with five other relatives. Hind, the sole survivor, spoke with members of the Red Crescent for three hours in the aftermath of the shooting, begging for help.
“Come take me. Come. I’m so scared, please,” she says in a recording, as the dispatcher tried to reassure her that help was on the way.
🚨95 hours have passed and the fate of our colleagues Yousef Zeino and Ahmed al Madhoun from the PRCS ambulance team, who went to rescue the 6-year-old girl, Hind, remains unknown.
Where is Hind? Where are Yousef and Ahmed? Are they still alive? We want to know their fate.… pic.twitter.com/ugSG3c90gN
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 2, 2024
But there is no indication that the ambulance, which could only begin making its way to Hind hours later on Monday, due to safety conditions on the ground, ever made it to the scene.
“Our ambulance team went to rescue her yesterday evening, but they have not returned as of now,” the Red Crescent said. “We lost contact with them about 18 hours ago, and we still remain unaware of their fate and whether they succeeded in evacuating her or not.”
In an emotional interview with Reuters, Rana al-Faqeh, the Red Crescent dispatcher who spoke to Hind, said their team felt “paralyzed” during the phone call.
“Hind kept asking us to come and get her, to send someone to get her. She said it was getting dark… I told her if night falls and we still can't send a team to try to close her eyes and pretend we were playing hide and seek. To close her eyes and start counting.”