The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) targeted and killed 21-year old female Palestinian field medic Razan al-Najjar who was running towards the border fence to provide medical assistance to wounded protesters when she was shot in the back.
UPDATED 06/08/2018 01:51 P.M. PST: On Tuesday, Ramzi al-Najjar, cousin of Razan al-Najjar, was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper just four days after his cousin’s murder. In response to global outrage at the deaths, the Israeli military is pushing a heavily-edited, misleading video aimed at discrediting and smearing Razan’s memory, claiming that she was acting as a human shield for Hamas and that “this medic was incited by Hamas to give up her life for their goals.”
Al-Najjar was wearing the uniform of a first responder and was thus clearly identifiable as a medic.
Putting aside international humanitarian law which prohibits the use of lethal force except under circumstances of imminent danger, which al-Najjar clearly did not constitute, the Geneva Convention clearly states that the targeted killing of medical personnel constitutes a war crime.
She was shot while she was roughly 100 meters away from the border fence, and died from her injuries at a hospital.
This is al-Najjar speaking with the New York Times:
“This is the tent where the volunteers work daily. We volunteer here every day. We do this for our love for the country. It’s humanitarian work. We don’t do it for money, we do it for God. We don’t want to get paid or be employed. People ask my dad what I’m doing here, and without getting a salary. He tells them, “I’m proud of my daughter. She provides care to the children of our country.””
The Israeli government has said that it will investigate her death, but the targeting of Palestinian medics is nothing new.
At least 17 Palestinian medical personnel were injured by live Israeli ammunition on May 14 alone, and now two have been killed.
Musa Abuhassanin was killed on May 14.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 238 healthcare workers and 38 ambulences have been affected as a result of the tensions arising from the ongoing Great March of Return.
Furthermore, a new report released by Safeguarding Health in Conflict shows that the occupied Palestinian territories are second only to Syria in the number of attacks on healthcare.
“It’s like art for them. The Israeli sniper knows very well what kind of injury you’re going to have before he shoots you. So if he wants you to live, he can [let you live]. If he wants to amputate you, he will.” — Paramedic Mazen Jabreel Hasna, wounded by Israeli forces
Al-Najjar was one of the very first females to volunteer as a first responder, and was a source of inspiration to those around her.
“I heard stories from her colleagues saying that other first responders used to motivate each other by mentioning her and talking about her. If anyone is sitting, they would tell him, “Come on, Razan broke her wrist, and yet she completed her shift.” So, she’s a source of inspiration for everyone.” — Dalia al-Najjar, Razan’s cousin
The news of al-Najjar’s death comes on the heels of the United States’ decision Friday to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned the ongoing violence at the hands of the Israeli government.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to cover this story.
To read our most recent coverage of the ongoing violence in the occupied Palestinian territories, click here.