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Israeli tank fired at Hind Rajab family car from metres away: Investigation | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Israeli tank fired at Hind Rajab family car from metres away: Investigation | Israel-Palestine conflict News

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The six-year-old remained alive for hours among the bodies of her dead relatives after they were attacked by Israeli troops.

An Israeli tank fired from a close distance at the family car of six-year-old Palestinian girl Hind Rajab, and a tank shell directly hit the ambulance that was dispatched to help, according to an investigation.

The killing of the child and her family in Gaza City in late January prompted international condemnation.

Rajab, who survived the initial shooting, had begged for help as she bled out among the bodies of her dead relatives while on the phone with paramedics and her mother for three hours.

In a documentary on civilian killings in the war on Gaza, Al Jazeera TV’s Fault Lines provided a detailed reconstruction of the incident, compiled in collaboration with nonprofit investigative groups, Forensic Architecture and Earshot.

The investigation revealed the Israeli tank was likely just 13 to 23 metres (42 to 75 feet) away when it opened fire on Rajab and her relatives in their car.

Through interviews with family members, Palestinian Civil Defence workers and medical responders, the documentary provides the most comprehensive account on video of the incident to date.

It also reconstructs for the first time the likely position of the Israeli tank when it fired on the car, as well as the likely trajectory of the tank shell that struck the ambulance with a direct hit when it came to rescue Rajab.

The Israeli military refused to answer Al Jazeera’s questions on the details of the incident. However, the new evidence further disproves previous claims by the Israeli military that its forces were not present in the area.

The ambulance deployed to help Rajab was attacked after receiving approval from Israeli authorities, complete with a map and approved route.

Two paramedics, Yousef Zeino and Ahmad al-Madhoun, were killed in the attack on the ambulance.

“I will never meet heroes like them again, the kind that know they will die and they still go,” said Omar al-Qam, a dispatcher with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), who was on the phone with Rajab and her cousin, who was killed in Israeli fire while pleading for help.

‘Most difficult feeling’

It took 12 days before Palestinian paramedics and Rajab’s family managed to reach the site of the attack in Gaza City in the northern part of the enclave.

Rajab’s mother, Wissam Hamada, said the child’s voice grew fainter towards the end of the phone call.

Hamada said Rajab told her she could not speak because her mouth was bleeding, but she did not want to wipe it so her mother would not be troubled with cleaning it.

“I told her, ‘It’s OK, wipe your mouth and I’ll wash it, my sweetheart.’ She agreed. She wiped with her sleeve and the voice disappeared. It was exactly 7pm. The voice disappeared completely,” Hamada told Fault Lines.

“It’s the most difficult feeling in the world to hear my daughter ask me to go get her when I can’t reach her. My sweetheart, I swear, I couldn’t reach you. Forgive me, sweetheart.”

Rajab’s death caused global condemnation, including in the United States, which has been supporting Israel’s war on Gaza.

One of two active US airmen seeking to leave military service and become a conscientious objector over Washington’s support for Israel’s war said Rajab’s killing marked a turning point for him.

Fault Lines also followed other Palestinian families as they recounted horrific experiences and their struggle for survival amid Israel’s relentless war.

Watch the film: ‘The Night Won’t End’: Biden’s War on Gaza

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