Bodies of missing 6-year-old, paramedics found in north Gaza, aid group says


The body of Hind Rajab, the 6-year-old missing for 12 days since losing touch with rescue workers desperately trying to save her after the family car was fired on in Gaza City, has been found, the Palestine Red Crescent Society said Saturday.

Rana Faqih, a PCRS worker who stayed on the phone with the child as she begged for hours to be rescued on Jan. 29, confirmed that she had been found dead. Hind had explained that she was the sole survivor in the vehicle after it was fired on by Israeli forces as the family tried to flee the Tel Hawa area of Gaza City. Her aunt, uncle and three cousins were all killed.

A 6-year-old in Gaza City was calling to be rescued. Did anyone find her?

The ambulance dispatched to reach her was also found shelled on Saturday with the two paramedics inside also killed, the PCRS said. In a statement it accused the Israeli military of directly targeting the ambulance crew as it tried to rescue the child. The route had been coordinated with Israeli authorities in advance, it said. Contacted for comment, the Israel Defense Forces said it did not have an immediate response.

The story of the child captured worldwide attention after she lost contact with the team trying to coordinate her rescue.

News of the deaths came as humanitarian organizations condemned Israel’s plans to remove civilians from combat zones in Rafah ahead of what Netanyahu called a “massive operation” in the city, where most of Gaza’s population has sought refuge. Amnesty International said that if the removal order is enacted, it “may amount to the crime of forcible transfer.”

Mercy Corps said that if people are forced to flee north, “they can only return to devastated areas that are littered with dangerous explosive devices and are virtually uninhabitable.”

Israel plans to remove civilians from refugee-filled Rafah, attack Hamas

Here’s what else to know

Two people have been killed and five others injured after shots were fired at people inside the Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis on Saturday, Doctors Without Borders said, citing its staff. The international charity said that medical staff “are afraid to move within and around the hospital due to fear of being shot.” The Health Ministry in Gaza said it fears “for the lives of 300 health personnel, 450 wounded and sick, and 10,000 displaced people inside.” The IDF said its troops “are currently not operating inside the hospital,” but said the surrounding area “is an active combat zone.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian met with Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah during a visit to Beirut on Saturday. According to Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Amir-Abdollahian and the leader of the Lebanese militant group and political party discussed the war in Gaza and the situation in southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in frequent cross-border strikes since the war in Gaza began.

Moody’s downgraded Israel’s credit rating Friday and changed its outlook for the country to negative, citing the war with Hamas and reflecting the ratings agency’s concern that the conflict could become a long-term economic burden. Moody’s downgraded Israel’s rating from A1 to A2, which is still in a category it considers “low credit risk.”

CIA Director William J. Burns is expected to travel to Cairo on Tuesday to continue negotiations over the proposed hostage release deal, with U.S. officials hoping Israel will have a response to Hamas’s latest proposal, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive discussions. The official said Hamas’s counterproposal has “real problems” but that U.S. officials believe there is a broad frame for the two sides to come to an agreement.

At least 28,064 people have been killed and 67,611 injured in the Gaza Strip since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Israel estimates that about 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

Yasmeen Abutaleb and Frances Vinall contributed to this report.


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