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Fate of 6-year-old girl in Gaza unknown after ambulance team sent to rescue her vanishes, aid group says


The Palestinian Red Crescent said Friday that more than three days had passed since it heard from an ambulance team sent to rescue a 6-year-old girl believed to be trapped in a car with the bodies of her 15-year-old relative Layan Hamadeh and others after they were fired on by an Israeli tank. 

“I’m so scared. Please come,” Hind Rajab is heard saying in a recording of a phone call to ambulance coordinators, which was released by the Palestinian Red Crescent. In the audio file, along with the little girl’s voice, sounds resembling gunfire can be heard in the background.

Hind Rajab is shown in this photo shared by the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Palestinian Red Crescent

Response Coordinator Ranah Al Faqeh said in a video posted online by the Palestinian Red Crescent that Rajab stayed in communication over the phone with them for three hours, repeating her pleas to be rescued and saying she was afraid of the dark as night fell.

“This is one of the cases that we dealt with that was painful, because everyone knows what it means to be a 6-year-old girl in such a place, in such an environment,” Al Faqeh said.

The situation came to the attention of the Palestinian Red Crescent, the regional branch of the International Red Cross, as it received reports on Monday of an incident involving a vehicle surrounded by Israeli forces near a gas station in Gaza City. Aid workers from the Red Crescent called contact numbers they’d been given for people believed to have been caught up in the violence and a teenage girl answered, the charity’s Central Operations Officer Omar Al Qam said in a video posted online.

Al Qam said he spoke with the older girl, who begged for help, but then heard gunfire and screaming, and lost contact with her.

“I found myself in a situation where she was begging for help and I couldn’t do anything,” he said.

Though the older girl disappeared, the phone line remained open, and 6-year-old Hind continued pleading for help. A Red Crescent psychological support worker stayed on with her until her exact location could be coordinated and an ambulance team was dispatched.

Soon, however, the Palestinian Red Crescent said it lost contact with its ambulance team, as well as Hind.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told CBS News they were not aware of the incident.

Israel launched its ongoing offensive in Gaza against Hamas, which has controlled the enclave for almost two decades, in response to the Palestinian militant group’s Oct. 7 terror attack, during which almost 1,200 people were killed and more about 240 abducted. 

Health officials in the Hamas-run territory say more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s relentless bombing and ground war. While Hamas does not differentiate between civilian and combatant deaths, it says most of those killed have been women and children.

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