Israeli tanks killed Hind Rajab, ambulance crew in Gaza: report

Hind Rajab and six members of her family were killed as they were evacuating their neighbourhood during an Israeli assault [Getty]

A new report from open-source research agency Forensic Architecture has concluded that 6-year-old Palestinian girl Hind Rajab was most likely killed by Israeli gunfire, likely from a tank, on 29 January.

The report, released on Friday, analysed a number of different aspects from the incident including satellite imagery, analysis from the destroyed car, and audio recordings.

It found that a total of 355 bullet holes were in the body of the car, a Kia Picanto, with an analysis of the location of the entry holes detailing that the shots likely came from the right side of the vehicle.

An additional audio analysis of a recording that captured the death of Hind’s cousin Layan Hamada during a call with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), revealed that the burst of fire was likely from between 13 and 23 meters away.

The audio analysis also concluded it was likely Israeli used weaponry, such as the M4 assault rifle or a FN Mag machine gun, used in a Merkava Tank, that fired the shots. This was concluded after determining the fire rate of the weapons.

The combined analysis, along with Hamada’s account that an Israeli tank was next to them, allowed investigators to map the likely position of an Israeli tank at the time of the shooting.

“From the tank position indicated by the greatest alignment between entry and exit holes, we concluded that the shooter would have had a clear view of the car and its passengers,” the report stated.

“In other words, they would have been aware of the presence of two children.”

The report also conducted an analysis of the wreckage of the ambulance that PRCS had sent out to rescue Hind, who at the time was the lone survivor of the incident.

Upon arriving at the site the ambulance was shot and destroyed, with a sabot, part of 120mm tank shell, later being found by the wreckage of the ambulance.

An analysis of the wreckage revealed a 23x26cm exit hole in the left rear door of the ambulance, with a reconstruction of the cone of impact revealing the direction of the shot.

The analysis concluded that the direction was consistent with the location of Israeli tanks that were pictured in satellite imagery between 29 January, the day of the incident, and 8 February.

Rajab, who was in a car with family members in an effort to flee Israeli attacks, garnered global attention after she called paramedics pleading for help inside a vehicle under Israeli fire.

Paramedics lost contact with her, with the last time they heard from her being 29 January. 

She was found dead on 10 February, two weeks after being trapped in the car.

The recording of the call, made public by the PRCS, sparked international criticism of the Israeli army, with her death making her a pro-Palestinian symbol around the world.

Israel’s war on Gaza has killed 37,551 Palestinians, with a further 85,911 being wounded. The figure includes 19 PRCS paramedics who have been killed in the line of duty.  

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