There is no other word to describe what is happening in Gaza other than to call it the willful murder of innocent people by a rampaging Israeli army that is using indiscriminate force as never-ending revenge for the attacks on October 7. Almost 30,000 Gazans have now died. The sheer scale of the killings of ordinary people is evidence that these actions are deliberate policy of the Israeli government, not those of a few rogue soldiers. This extremely sad story about one family captures the sheer horror of what is happening.
A six-year-old girl who went missing in Gaza City last month has been found dead, along with several of her relatives and two paramedics who tried to save her.
Hind Rajab was fleeing the city with her aunt, uncle and three cousins when the car they were travelling in appears to have come face to face with Israeli tanks, and come under fire.
Audio recordings of calls between Hind and emergency call operators suggest that the six-year-old was the only one left alive in the car, hiding from Israeli forces among the bodies of her relatives.
Her pleas for someone to rescue her ended when the phone line was cut amid the sound of more gunfire.
Paramedics from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) managed on Saturday to reach the area, which had previously been closed off as an active combat zone.
They found the black Kia car Hind had been travelling in – its windscreen and dashboard smashed to pieces, bullet holes scattered across the side.
One paramedic told journalists that Hind was among the six bodies found inside the car, all of which showed signs of gunfire and shelling.
We are told that desperate families are starving to death or trying to barely stay alive by eating whatever they can find, even animal food.
People living in the isolated north of Gaza have told the BBC that children are going without food for days, as aid convoys are increasingly denied permits to enter. Some residents have resorted to grinding animal feed into flour to survive, but even stocks of those grains are now dwindling, they say.
People have also described digging down into the soil to access water pipes, for drinking and washing.
The UN has warned that acute malnutrition among young children in the north has risen sharply, and is now above the critical threshold of 15%.
The UN’s humanitarian coordination agency, Ocha, says more than half the aid missions to the north of Gaza were denied access last month, and that there is increasing interference from Israeli forces in how and where aid is delivered.
It says 300,000 people estimated to be living in northern areas are largely cut off from assistance, and face a growing risk of famine.
People may quibble about whether what is happening in Gaza meets the definition of genocide but what happened to Hind Rajab and her family is murder.