Six-year-old Hind Rajab and relatives 'deliberately killed' by Israel: Euro-Med

Six-year-old Hind Rajab and relatives 'deliberately killed' by Israel: Euro-Med
An investigation by Euro-Med monitor into the death of Hind Rajab has found that the six-year-old and her relatives were deliberately executed by Israel.
3 min read
13 February, 2024
The ferocity of Israel's attack on Hind, her relatives and the ambulance crew in broad daylight show a high likelihood that it was deliberate [Getty]

A leading human rights organisation has found on Monday that Hind Rajab, a six-year-old Palestinian girl, was deliberately killed by Israeli forces in Gaza City’s Tal al-Hawa neighbourhood.

In its preliminary investigation into the atrocity, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor found that Hind and her relatives were killed in a “planned execution carried out by the Israeli army … in broad daylight.”

Hind and her five family members were traveling in a car through Gaza City’s southwest on 29 January when, at approximately 5pm, they encountered direct and continuous gunfire from the Israeli army.

Twelve days later, after making a distress call while trapped in the car and injured, Hind and her family members were found dead in the vehicle.

Before five-year-old Hind managed to make her distress call, her 15-year-old cousin, Layan Hamada, who was also in the car, reached out to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) seeking help while encircled by Israeli tanks.

In the recorded call, the sound of fierce gunfire targeting the vehicle can be heard. Layan's voice is then abruptly cut off following a piercing scream, which is thought to be the moment she was shot dead by Israeli forces.

On the same day as the discovery of Hind and her family’s bodies, the PRCS discovered the bodies of two paramedics, Yousef Zaino and Ahmed Al-Madhoun. They had been dispatched to rescue Hind following her distress call, after coordinating with Israeli forces for the necessary clearance to undertake the mission.

According to Euro-Med’s investigation, Hind, her uncle, aunt and three of her cousins were killed by gunfire and shrapnel from tanks shells while fleeing the neighbourhood, which Israel had instructed them to do.

The car was found with numerous gunshot holes, broken glass, with strong evidence of bullets fired directly at it.

Upon inspecting the victims’ bodies, it was clear they had suffered from severe gunfire and shrapnel wounds caused by artillery shelling. Nearby, the ambulance sent for Hind’s rescue was found completely burned, its engine detached and lying on the ground. Israeli forces had targeted the rescue vehicle with a US-made shell, evidenced by remnants of the weapon found at the site.

Most damningly, the incidents occurred in broad daylight, indicating that Israeli forces could clearly see that the car's occupants were civilians, including children. Euro-Med Monitor concludes that this sustained attack by Israel could only have been deliberate.

The US on Monday called the death of  Hind "heartbreaking" and urged Israel to order an immediate investigation.

"We are devastated about reports of the death of Hind Rajab," US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Monday.

"It's just a devastating account, a heartbreaking account for this child ... we have asked the Israeli authorities to investigate this incident on an urgent basis," Miller added.

The US has not commented on the use of its weapons in Israel's killings of civilians, with Washington continuing to provide Tel Aviv with sophisticated weaponry.  Almost 30,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel as a result of its air and ground assault on Gaza, over 12,000 of whom are children