Never forget Hind Rajab

Hind Rajab graduating from kindergarten

BY ED FELIEN

The Israeli military has “slaughtered” (Noam Chomsky’s word) more than 35,000 Palestinians—most of them, women and children.
From Wikipedia: In January 2024, three months into the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, much of the Strip was largely deserted and bombed out. The health care system in Gaza was collapsing due to Israeli attacks and a blockade of humanitarian aid. Northern Gaza was particularly affected, as there were no functioning hospitals in the area by December due to lack of supplies, fuel and staff.
On Jan. 29, 2024, Rajab along with six of her family members were fleeing from the Gaza City neighborhood of Tel al-Hawa when an Israeli army tank shot their vehicle, a black Kia, killing Rajab’s aunt, uncle and four cousins. The only other survivor, Rajab’s 15-year-old cousin Layan Hamadeh, called the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) for emergency aid. Hamadeh was crying, further adding that, “They are shooting at us. The tank is right next to me. We’re in the car, the tank is right next to us.”
Hamadeh was heard screaming as she was killed under the sound of machine gun fire raking the car while still on the line with responders. When the dispatchers called back, Rajab answered the call, stating everyone else in the car was dead and that the tank continued to approach the car. Rajab stayed on the line with the PRCS for three hours, telling the dispatcher, “I’m so scared, please come. Come take me. Please, will you come?” Her grandfather later told reporters that Rajab was injured in the back, hand and foot. Rajab, who was instructed to continue hiding in the vehicle, was set to be rescued by a PRCS ambulance. The audio of the phone call between the PRCS, Hamadeh and Rajab was published by the Red Crescent on Feb. 3.
As the area was besieged, the PRCS worked with the Gaza Health Ministry and the Israeli military to guarantee safe passage for their ambulance crew to rescue Rajab. The ambulance reported that they were being targeted by the Israeli military with laser lights. After sounds of gunfire or an explosion, the connection was lost. The fate of Rajab and the paramedics was unknown until 12 days later on Feb. 10, when the family returned after the withdrawal of the Israeli military, discovering the car with Rajab, Hamadeh and the rest of her uncle’s entire family deceased. The windows were blown out and the doors were covered with bullet holes. The Red Crescent ambulance was found a few feet away, completely destroyed by an Israeli missile, with two ambulance workers, Yusuf al-Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun, also killed.

From Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times”:

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door
Oh hard times come again no more

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door
Oh hard times come again no more
Oh hard times come again no more

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