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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Medics and Escaping Gaza Family Killed Amid Gunfire


From the heart of JERUSALEM — The‍ chilling echo of gunfire reverberated through the phone ​line as⁤ a⁢ terrified⁣ teenage girl sought refuge in a car. An ‍Israeli tank was ominously close⁢ to the⁤ vehicle as she and her ⁤family were attempting to comply with Israel’s directive ⁤to evacuate their home in ⁤Gaza.

According to the ⁢teenager, Israeli troops were relentlessly firing at the car. ⁤She made frantic calls to her relatives and emergency services, her voice trembling‌ with​ fear. Tragically, everyone in the vehicle was killed, except for her and her 5-year-old cousin, Hind.

“They‌ are shooting at us,” the 15-year-old, Layan, cried out to the Palestinian ‌Red Crescent. “The tank is right beside me.”

Then, a sudden burst of gunfire. A scream. And then, silence.

That distressing⁤ call on Jan. 29 sparked a desperate rescue mission by medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent, one of countless such attempts during the war in Gaza. However, after ⁤dispatching an ambulance, the⁢ organization lost⁤ all ⁤contact with the crew.

Twelve days ‌later, on Saturday, the ambulance was found. It was charred ⁤and destroyed.

The two​ medics​ were dead. The Palestinian Red Crescent​ accused Israeli forces of deliberately targeting the ambulance as‌ it arrived near the family’s vehicle. The organization⁢ claimed that it had coordinated the journey with Israeli forces, as it ⁢had done in the‌ past.

The family car was also found, containing six bodies, ⁢including those of Layan and Hind.

Israel has yet to comment on the incident.

Moving around the small enclave is fraught with ⁢danger as Israel continues its ground and air offensive. Israel’s ‍prime minister has⁣ announced⁣ plans for a​ ground invasion of the densely ⁣populated southern ⁤city of Rafah, ​which would necessitate the displacement⁤ of over a million people.

The Health‍ Ministry in Gaza reports that approximately two-thirds of ⁣the more than 28,000 people killed since the war began have been children and women. The ministry does not differentiate between civilians‍ and combatants in its count.

Israel maintains that it targets Hamas and holds the group accountable for civilian casualties, arguing that the militants operate from civilian areas.

The Hamada family⁤ was among the more than 80% of Gaza’s population that was evacuating their homes. On Jan. 29, near a gas station in Gaza City, in ​an⁤ area designated by Israel as a combat zone, the family encountered a tank.

The exact⁣ circumstances of the shooting remain uncertain.

In a desperate⁢ call to her uncle Omar, Layan said that troops were firing at them. ⁣Her great-uncle Bashar Hamada, his wife, and two of their ​children were killed. Layan was injured.

She begged Omar to send an ambulance. He connected her with⁤ the Palestinian Red Crescent office in Ramallah, which hoped to guide her on ‍how to save herself and anyone ⁢else‌ who ⁢might still be alive.

But it was ⁢too late.

The Palestinian Red Crescent sent an ambulance after Layan’s line went⁢ silent. Hours later, they lost⁤ contact with the medics, ​Yousef Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun, as they⁤ arrived at the scene.

For days, the organization shared the story‍ of Hind, ‌her family, and the missing medics on social​ media — even posting​ audio of the phone call with Layan — in a desperate plea for help.

On Saturday, after Israeli troops withdrew from the area and civilians informed the Palestinian Red Crescent about the bodies, the organization shared a ⁣video of the ambulance, crumpled and burned. Nearby was​ a car, ⁤believed to be the family’s, ⁤smashed and ⁢riddled‌ with bullet holes.

Truth Media Network
Truth Media Network
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