Hind Rajab, Almost Six Years Old, Gaza, Palestine: Dead. (A Poem of Barbarism)

Hind Rajab, Almost Six Years Old,  Gaza, Palestine: Dead.  (A Poem of Barbarism)


“I’m so scared, please come. Come take me. Please, will you come? Hind Rajab


“Does this child pose a threat to the world? Or to any human being in this world.”  Bahaa Hamadeh (January, 31)




Who pulled the trigger on Hind Rajab?

Who pulled the trigger on her wounded cousin,

Layan Hamadeh, just 15-year-old?

Who fired the bullets that killed uncle and aunt?

Who sent death to collect all three cousins in the fleeing car?

What did the news say when their bodies

rose up from the fire to condemn this wretched world?

Who drove the tank

and who pointed the weapons?

Who loaded the guns and who paid

for the ammunition, the American shells,

the moving and immovable parts?

And who sleeps safe in their bed

each night these small children are driven,

like beasts, to their slaughter?


And who, endlessly, lectures us on human rights

from an English parliament, an American university, a German

holocaust memorial?

And, finally, who are these madmen-and-women

screaming antisemite antisemite

every time i blow my nose?


So I ask again:

who pulled the trigger that killed Hind Rajab, almost

6 years old, from Tal al-Hawa district, in southern Gaza City,

January 29, 2024?




Dear Hind Rajab, a chara mo chroí

your birthday is in May, i am told.


For a present if only i could wind

back the clocks and

slip so softly into this sleeping car

as night falls

and you ask: please come, quickly,

quickly “come take me. Please,

will you come?”


i could try hold you, falling

as we all fly away, together…


Monday, 29 January, 2024,

at about 5 p.m.




Twelve days later, you,

Hind Rajab, almost 6 years old,

are found dead…


Listen now:


Hind Rajab’s mother, Wasam Hamada,



“My heart is completely destroyed

over my daughter.

Two weeks. They killed them. Two weeks

they were in that car.


I’ve told the world from day one,

please go get Hind.


God is the only one sufficient for us.

Everyone failed us; I will tell God on

the day of judgment about my daughter.


I swear I will never forgive you or any human

involved or any human rights organization”


Saturday, 10 February, 2024.




Mosa Abu Toha, the poet, writes:


“To write poetry now about

other than Gaza is blasphemous.

To write poetry after Gaza is barbaric.


 …“nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch.”

(Adorno, 1949)


Here, today, to write these words

is to put a knife to a throat

that has already been cut.




To kill a six year old child

is a cruel state-sponsored sadistic act of savagery

even now, in slow motion, as we watch.

Its excuse:

The knife demanding the throat

…to stop annoying it.




To listen to Hind Rajab’s voice

is to fall headlong into the dark hole of helplessness

where if you can still breathe

your own face might fall off

in front of you

and neither the bones nor the flesh

(nor your own cowardice)

could ever stifle your screams!




To write poetry after Hind Rajab’s Death

must be barbarism.

(Or more correctly, dear Mosab,





Instead i write a letter:


Dear Netanyahu

Dear Yoav Gallant.

Dear Murderers,


i would like your permission to add Gaza

(and the names of Hind Rajab) to your Holocaust Memorial

Yad Vashem, Mount of Remembrance, Tel Aviv:

In Memory of the Crimes of Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen, Buchenwald

and Palestine.




(This is not an anti-Semite joke.

This is deathly serious.

On the 15 March 2005, your own President (of Israel)

Moshe Katzav, said that Yad Vashem serves as

an important signpost to all of humankind,

a signpost that warns how short the distance is

between hatred and murder, between racism and genocide“.




How short the distance?


Oh, then don’t forget to ask:


who killed the 2 brave paramedics who

went to rescue the child, Hind Rajab?


i see the American movie poster already:


How Sweet Is It?

How they sleep so close

to each other.


Hind Rajab, Layan, her cousin, and

her dead and decomposing family.

And now: 2 paramedics in their

burnt out ambulance, just feet away, as if

death itself could reach across

…this desperate distance?




“They are shooting at us.

The tank is right next to me.

We’re in the car, the tank is right next to us”.

Layan Hamadeh.


Tell me, Israeli gunners

which did you shoot next

(in self defense, of course?)

young Hind Rajab..?..or the

ambulance drivers who drove

to rescue her?


(In an official IDF statement the IDF had conducted

“a targeted raid alongside the Israel Security Agency”

 “on terror targets in northern and central Gaza”

“over the past two weeks”

“in the areas of Tel Al-Hawa and Shati.”

“Blah. Blah…Blah.”)


Or to put it simply:

“Exterminate. Exterminate”.


As if people didn’t already know?




It has taken us a long time to come

to this conclusion,

what even the dead have known for

75 years.


And now the dead are rising.

All the Palestinian dead are rising.

They are speaking from out of the graves:


“It was an Israeli tank crew that pulled the trigger.

Filled the bodies of the people with death and poison.


It was a US shell that was found inside the ambulance.

An American-made M830A1 HEAT shell.”


We can hear the applause now,

with German and British accents,

strangling our throats.




Hanan Ashrawi

wanders around restlessly in my sleepless dreams

“They forced them into the South. They shelled them

and bombed them and sniped them on the way…”

is all i can hear her say.

In the background to her voice

the cries of 11,00 dead children

…keep us both awake.




In the early days of The Ghetto, i have been told,

the Germans would offer a piece of bread

for those who would voluntarily pack their bags

and just fuck off.


In 1933 you were able to buy your way to safety.

In this Year of the Palestinian Genocide

the Israeli Defense Forces insist that you seek

permission to drive your ambulance

to the site of your own massacre.


This is why it is now said: to write poetry-after-Gaza

is no longer much better than the lies-and-insanity

this barbarism demands?


But note:


Yusuf Zeino and Ahmed al-Madhoun

(from the Palestinian Red Crescent)

these were the ambulance team summoned

to their loud and laser-lit deaths

by the cold-blooded barbarians.




Soon, just like the Nazis,

our world will find no place

for Zionism…


So it has been suggested,

by many decent Jewish thinkers!




After the Auschwitz-of-Gaza

to write poetry

is now just one more distraction

from barbarism?




In Hind Rajab’s world everybody is alone.

It is always our last 90 seconds to midnight.

The only sound other than the bullets

and the screaming

is the uncivilised crowing of

the crazed Israeli soldiers.


In Hind Rajab, the martyred child’s, world

…nobody ever goes home again.




Here now is the song of Khan Yunis,

of Rafah, of Gaza City:


It starts with a whistling sound

of an American tank shell.

It ends in fire and death, but

in its middle

there might be room for those that survive

to try save our world.


If all these children are lost

to the mindlessness of the monsters,

what future can there be?




Here is a question for the bankers and the shopkeepers

(the ones who sell weapons and misery

and the same ones who sleep safely at night):


how do you balance these books?


The price of saving a life in Gaza

(paid in full by too many ambulance workers)

is your own life

(by “bomb, artillery-round, tank-shell

or sniper bullet”).


One plus one equals

nobody survives an Israeli assault.


Is that how you balance the books,

Mister Banker?




One last question before the light fades:


who pulled the trigger, pressed the button, lit the fuse?

Do you sleep peaceful at night?

Are your dreams haunted by the cries

of a small child seeking



And now

In this graveyard of our dreams

as silence settles like sleep

on the memory of all these dead


how come so many

have so little to say,

or say it badly,

(or say to me:

“what about Hamas…

what about the decapitated babies”?!?)




So let the facts show:


“..that both crimes took place during daylight hours,

which means that the Israeli army forces had clear visibility

and were undoubtedly able to identify and distinguish that the occupants

of the car were a group of civilians consisting of a family with their children, and that the vehicle approaching the car was an ambulance—the same vehicle that had coordinated with the Israeli army to remove the child, Hind, and transport her to the hospital.”


And let the facts show:


“According to the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute, five-year-old Hind Rajab, her family, and the two paramedics who attempted to save Hind were all victims of a serious and complex crime that included multiple grave violations and war crimes.

The first was the planned unlawful killing of unarmed civilians in a civilian car in broad daylight;

the second was the refusal to give urgent medical assistance to injured people when they discovered that a wounded child was still alive;

and the third was the intentional unlawful killing of PRCS paramedics on a humanitarian assistance mission, despite their use of the Red Crescent emblem, which is protected by international humanitarian law.”


Euro-Med Monitor also notes that this

is just more proof

that the Israeli army

intentionally targets

Palestinian civilians.




So: here now is the chorus

and the finale

(for this Poem of Barbarism):


who pulled the trigger on Hind Rajab?

Who pressed the button that killed her cousin, Layan?

Who lights this fire, day after day, that keeps on killing

uncle and aunt, brother and sister, daughter, cousin, niece and



Please come to the Platform (of the Powerful)

to receive your Prize.


(As Hanan Ashrawi leaves the hall

she is heard say:

“They may have all the weapons,

they may have all the power

…we, the Palestinian people, have a cause.”)


For here are the last words Hind Rajab heard:


“Okay, my dear, I will come and take you”.


séamas carraher


Footnote: Palestine Red Crescent Society spokesperson, Nebal Farsakh:

“…it’s just so much sad to see paramedics losing their life while they

are trying to save people’s life…that was the fact of Yousef and Ahmed… their

fault was they went on a rescue mission to save a six-year-old girl; it was a

coordinated Mission and the green light  was given and Israeli occupation forces intentionally bombed the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance which has clearly the Red Crescent emblem on top of the ambulance and on all the sides… there was no way or no option to be a mistake… it is an intentional targeting. Since the beginning of the war we have lost 14 PRCS members, all of them were killed while they were on duty trying to save people’s lives and what does the Israeli military explain to you given that you got permission for your rescue workers to go rescue Hind… as the world heard her six-year-old pleas for help…

Democracy Now – Feb 16, 2024


IMAGE (Cover)

“Mit Gewalt aus Bunkern hervorgeholt”

By, Unknown author (“Franz Konrad confessed to taking some of the photographs, the rest was probably taken by photographers from Propaganda Kompanie nr 689”) Restored version of Image: Stroop Report – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising 06.jpg

Public Domain, Public Domain (via Wikimedia Commons)

See Also: “Ghetto Boy” (Wikipedia)



This undated handout photograph obtained courtesy of the family shows six-year-old Palestinian girl Hind Rajab posing for a picture.”

Source: Albawaba News (“Fair Use”)


Notes (on Text)


Hind Rajab’s and Layan Hamadeh’s voice recorded

Al Jazeera – 31 January, 2024


Also: The Palestine Red Crescent Society recording’s of a call from Hind Rajab reading Quran

Middle East Eye – 16 February, 2024



Yad Vashem, Mount of Remembrance, Tel Aviv

Yad Yashem – Wikipedia


Hanan Ashrawi

Video – Middle East Eye


In 1933 they were able to buy their way to safety



the ambulance team summoned to their deaths by the barbarians.

Huffington Post


It is always our last 90 seconds to midnight

Doomsday Clock


“They forced them into the South. They shelled them

and bombed them and sniped them on the way…” (Hanan Ashrawi)

Video Interview – February 13, 2024


…(or say to me: what about Hamas…what about

the decapitated babies?!?)

Al Jazeera’s FACT CHECK (on “decapitated babies”) October 16 – 2023


Euro-Med Monitor also notes that this is more proof that the Israeli army intentionally targets Palestinian civilians.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor – 12 February, 2024


And, finally, who are these liars screaming antisemite antisemite

every time i blow my nose?

Ireland’s Hostility to Israel – Jerusalem Post –  February 17, 2024


Note on Adorno (1949): …“nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch.”

“Namely, to write poetry after Auschwitz means to write from within a differend—a radical chasm between the signifier and the signified that one neither ought nor could overcome via writing or aesthetic means in general. Yet, poetry (and also art and thinking, per se) as a form of active engagement with sociopolitical realities, has to respond to the ungraspable (i.e., the Holocaust); it cannot simply avoid doing so. It permanently has to speak whilst knowing that it will never reach the addressee; that it must fail in speaking.” Anna-Verena Noshtoff – 2014


Hind Rajab News Links


The body of six-year-old Hind Rajab is found by relatives

Middle East Eye – February 10, 2024


Gaza: Initial findings show Israeli army purposefully kills a child, uses an American-made missile to target her rescue crew

Euro-Med – 12 February, 2024


Western media outlets rebuked over coverage of Hind Rajab story

Albawaba – February 12, 2024


Video (short) of Hind Rajab’s mother Wissam Hamadah

Video (short) of wreckage of Kia car and ambulance

NBC News – February 11, 2024


US skips congressional review for emergency sale of tank shells to Israel

Oneindia News – 10 December, 2023



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