Israeli soldiers who killed six-year-old Hind Rajab had visual of vehicle occupants: report

Report by UK-based Forensic Architecture and Earshot challenge Israel's denial of responsibility for Rajab's death

News Desk June 22, 2024


The gunfire that killed six-year-old Palestinian girl Hind Rajab came from an Israeli tank whose soldiers had clear visual of the vehicle occupants before targeting it, according to a new report by a UK-based research group.

Hind Rajab was found dead on 10 February in northern Gaza after being trapped in a car with her family for nearly two weeks under Israeli military fire.

The findings of the investigation commisioned by Al Jazeera and carried out by UK-based Forensic Architecture and Earshot challenge Israel's denial of responsibility for Rajab's death, asserting that Israeli forces were indeed present in the area at the time.

The report released on Friday reveals that the gunfire that killed Rajab in February this year came from a tank that was positioned just 13 to 23 meters away from the car in northern Gaza.

The tank's machine gun fired 64 shots in just six seconds, at a rate of 750-900 rounds per minute.

"This range exceeds that of an AK-type rifle, the assault rifle most commonly attributed to Hamas. This range of rounds per minute is consistent with Israeli army-issued weaponry such as the M4 assault rifle or the FN MAG machine gun on a Merkava tank," the investigation noted.

The audio ballistic analysis suggests that the tank was next to the car when it fired the shots that killed Hind and her family.

The investigation also found that the tank would have had a clear view of the car and its passengers, including two children.

"It's not plausible that the shooter could not have seen that the car was occupied by civilians, including children," the investigators concluded.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society released an audio recording of Hind's final call, in which her pleas for help amid gunfire could be heard.

"I'm scared of the dark, come get me," she said. The last contact with Rajab was on 29 January.

Paramedics Yousef Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun, were sent to rescue Rajab after she called for help. They were also later found dead.

The killing of the paramedics, Yusuf al-Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun, was also investigated in the report. They were dispatched in an ambulance to rescue Hind, but were shot at upon arrival.

The investigation found that the ambulance was likely hit by ammunition from an Israeli tank.

Hind Rajab's death has become a symbol for pro-Palestine protesters globally.

At Columbia University in New York City, students occupied a building and renamed it "Hind's Hall" in her honour.

On 6 May, American rapper Macklemore released a song titled "Hind's Hall," named after a Columbia University building, to memorialise Rajab and support ongoing Gaza solidarity movements on US campuses.


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