Watch: Reservists help lost Gazan child who fell asleep in IDF encampment

Soldiers helped treat the girl, return her to Palestinian medics after finding her barefoot and injured

Tal Schneider is a Political Correspondent at The Times of Israel

A four-year-old Palestinian girl is treated by IDF reserve soldiers after getting lost and falling asleep inside an IDF encampment in the Gaza Strip in a still from a video dated December 10, 2023. (Screenshot, Zman Yisrael)
A four-year-old Palestinian girl is treated by IDF reserve soldiers after getting lost and falling asleep inside an IDF encampment in the Gaza Strip in a still from a video dated December 10, 2023. (Screenshot, Zman Yisrael)

IDF reservists operating inside Gaza discovered a young Palestinian girl asleep inside a fortified military area on Sunday, and after determining that she was lost, cleaned her and treated wounds on her feet before transferring her to a Gazan medical team.

The girl, estimated to be around four years old, took a wrong turn when walking barefoot up the Salah al-Din Road, the main highway inside the coastal enclave, and ended up in a closed military encampment belonging to the IDF Reserve’s Jerusalem Brigade in the center of the Gaza Strip.

The girl lay down on a blanket and fell asleep inside the encampment, where she was discovered by Daniel Rosenfeld, a reservist in the Combat Engineering Corps.

Rosenfeld noticed that her feet were injured, seemingly as a result of her barefoot trek, and, along with a soldier from the Civil Administration, he bandaged her feet, attempted to clean her face and hands with wipes and sprayed her with insect repellant to ward off flies.

He later noted that after seeing the young child, he felt it was impossible to remain indifferent and not do anything to help her.

The Civil Administration soldier then arranged for a local ambulance to transfer the girl to a Gazan medical team.

The incident was seen on video obtained by Zman Yisrael, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site.

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza was triggered by the terror group’s shock onslaught in southern Israel on October 7, in which thousands of terrorists flooded into Israel from the land, air and sea, slaughtering more than 1,200 people and seizing some 240 hostages.

In response, Israel launched an aerial campaign and subsequent ground operation, vowing to eliminate Hamas from the Gaza Strip and to bring an end to its 16-year rule.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry has said that more than 17,700 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, although the number cannot be verified by an external source and is believed to include 7,000 members of Hamas and other terror groups as well as civilians killed by misfired Palestinian rockets.

As the IDF’s ground operation has continued to expand in recent days, Israel has urged civilians to seek shelter in a makeshift tent camp in al-Mawasi, which stretches roughly 20 square kilometers (8 square miles) in southwest Gaza.

Israel’s plan for people to seek shelter in al-Mawasi has been met with criticism by human rights organizations, who call it poorly planned and have cast doubt about whether or not civilians seeking shelter there will be spared from airstrikes. The IDF also says there are 150 designated safe sites at UN camps in southern Gaza.

According to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees, or UNRWA, more than 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced, some more than once, since the start of the war.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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