Four young Palestinian girls died Thursday after they were locked inside a vehicle in the Hebron area village of Tarqumiyah. Initial reports were that the girls, aged 2-6 and all related, accidentally locked themselves inside a car while their parents picked olives in a field nearby.
The girls were found unconscious and were rushed to a hospital in Hebron, where their deaths were confirmed.
Hospital officials said Nursin Mohammad Hassan Fatafta, 5, Sarah Ziyad Fatafta, 4; Tuqa Ziyad Hassan Fatafta, 4 and Rama Ahmad Fatafta, 3 were pronounced dead, Ma’an reported.
A fifrth child, Nadin Mohammad Hassan Fatafta, 5, was hospitalized in critical condition.
Palestinian security services were investigating whether the tragedy was an accident or a case of parental neglect.
Over the summer, a rash of similar incidents in Israel alarmed the public, launching debates about possible means of prevention and prompting a hyper vigilance that has seemed to save some children from such fates.
In August, a 2-year-old boy was rescued from a locked car in Eilat by police, who broke through a window. In the same month, two children emerged unharmed from cars in central Israel after being rescued by passersby, but a three-year-old died in Beersheba hospital after being found unconscious in a car in the city
In July, three young children died in separate incidents after being left in locked cars — including two cases that occurred within 24 hours — in the sweltering summer heat.