A six-year-old Palestinian girl who called authorities begging for help as the lone survivor of an attack in Gaza City has been discovered dead. She died alongside a pair of paramedics who were trying to save her.
The girl, Hind Rajab, was with family members – her aunt, uncle, and her three cousins – racing in their family car to outrun Israeli tanks and escape the city.
Tanks ultimately fired on the car, killing Hind's relatives. The little girl survived the initial assault long enough to call emergency operators to try to find help. Gunfire can be heard just before Hind's call abruptly ends, the BBC reports.
On Saturday, paramedics with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society managed to reach the area where Hind's relatives were killed. Prior to that, the area had been closed off due to it being an active combat zone.
They eventually found a black Kia, its windows blown out, its doors riddled with bullets. That was the car Hind and her family were in when they attempted to flee the city.
A paramedic reported that Hind's remains were found among the bodies of her family members. She appeared to have died from gunfire and shelling.
The black Kia was not the only vehicle destroyed on the street; the paramedics also discovered the remains of an ambulance just a few meters away. The Red Crescent said that an ambulance was sent to answer Hind's call for help, but never returned.
The PRCS has accused Israel of intentionally destroying the ambulance and killing its paramedics.
"The [Israeli] occupation deliberately targeted the Red Crescent crew despite obtaining prior coordination to allow the ambulance to arrive at the scene to rescue the child Hind," the organisation said in a statement.
The group told the BBC that it had previously coordinated with the Israeli army to obtain assurances that they could safely retrieve Hind. Those alleged agreements were reportedly not honoured.
Nibal Farsakh, a spokesperson for the PRCS, told the BBC that their paramedics could see the spot where Hind was trapped, but that there was nonstop gunfire making a rescue impossible.
Hind's mother is also calling for accountability for Israel.
"For every person who heard my voice and my daughter's pleading voice, yet did not rescue her, I will question them before God on the Day of Judgement," she told the BBC. "Netanyahu, Biden, and all those who collaborated against us, against Gaza and its people, I pray against them from the depths of my heart."
Israel has not released an official statement regarding Hind, her family, or the deaths of the paramedics.
The Independent has reached out for comment.
In the past, Israel has accused Palestinians of using ambulances to transport weapons and fighters, and hospitals as hideouts. This has allowed the Israeli military to justify attacks that would typically be considered war crimes under the International Criminal Court's standards.