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Updated: Army Kills A Medic, Injures 100 Palestinians, Including 40 With Live Fire, In Gaza

00:00 Jun 1 2018 east of Khan Younis

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Photos:
Razan Ashraf Najjar, 22, published by IMEMC News and 972Mag

Razan Ashraf al-Najjar, the 21-year-old volunteer medic killed during protests on the Israel-Gaza border on June 1, 2018.(
Photo courtesy of Ihab Omar al-Fasfous). Published by Maan News and Haaretz

Palestinian protesters flee from incoming tear gas canisters during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Khan Yunis, Gaza, June 1, 2018. Credit: SAID KHATIB/AFP. Published by Haaretz

The funeral of Razan al-Najjar. (Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org) Published by 972Mag

Mourners during the funeral of Razan al-Najjar. (Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org) Published by 972Mag

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by IMEMC News
First Published on: Jun 2, 2018 @ 01:56
Updated: June 2, 2018 4:20 AM

The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, a young Palestinian woman, a volunteer medic identified as Razan Ashraf Najjar, 22, and injured 100 Palestinians, including 40 with live fire.

The Health Ministry said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against Palestinian protesters, participating in the Great Return March, and marching for breaking the ongoing deadly Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry in Gaza, stated that the Razan was killed by live Israeli army fire after the soldiers targeted five medics providing treatment to wounded Palestinians in the “Return Camp,” east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

He added that the soldiers also injured more than 100 Palestinians, including 40 with live fire, while the rest suffered various cuts and bruises, in addition to the effects of teargas inhalation.

Razan, who was wearing a clearly-marked medic vest, was at least 100 meters away from the eastern border fence when she was shot while providing aid to wounded Palestinians and attempting to evacuate them to the field clinic.

Prior to her injury, Razan, managed to render aid to many wounded Palestinians, including an elderly man who suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

Razan was killed when an Israeli sniper shot her in the back, and the bullet went through her heart.

Dr. Rasha Abdul-Rahman Qdeih said she was with Razan when they were trying to help wounded Palestinians, but five army jeeps came close to the fence, before two soldiers left one of the vehicles and pointed their sniper scopes at them.

“I shouted at my colleagues to take cover and remain alert,” she said, “The soldiers fired several rounds, and some minutes later, we managed to evacuate the wounded, before the soldiers started firing gas bombs.”

“But then, the soldiers fired several exploding rounds at us; one of them struck Razan and killed her, and another bullet struck a medic, identified as Rami Abu Jazar, in his thigh, in addition to shrapnel in his left thigh, arm and leg, while another medic, Mahmoud Abdul-‘Aati, was injured by shrapnel,” Dr. Rasha added.

It is worth mentioning that Razan is the second medic to be killed by Israeli army fire since March 30th, after the soldiers killed Mousa Jaber Abu Hassanein, 36, who was shot on May 14th, while wearing a clearly marked medic vest.

The soldiers also injured 223 medics, including 29 who were shot with live fire or after being directly targeted with high-velocity gas bombs.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), said Razan was a volunteer with the PMRS, and was killed after the soldiers fired live rounds at a filed clinic, hundreds of meters away from the border fence.

Dr. Barghouthi said the killing of the volunteer medic is another crime committed by Israel against innocent civilians, including medics and journalists, and added that the medical teams will continue their humanitarian duties despite the Israeli violations, and constant escalation.

Razan’s death brings the number of Palestinians, killed by Israeli army fire since the beginning of the “Great Return Match, on March 30th, to 119, while more than 13400 have been injured, including 330 who suffered life-threatening wounds.

This Video about Razan was published two months ago by Pal+ English on their Facebook Page
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GAZA CITY (Ma'an) --
JUNE 2, 2018 2:00 P.M. (UPDATED: JUNE 2, 2018 2:16 P.M.)

Israeli forces shot and killed a 21-year-old Palestinian woman paramedic on Friday, as she was treating injured protesters during ongoing demonstrations along the Gaza border with Israel, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Ministry of Health reported that 21-year-old Razan Ashraf al-Najjar, from the Khan Younis-area town of Khuzaa, was shot in the stomach as Israeli forces deployed near the border fence opened fire on a group of five paramedics, including al-Najjar, as they were aiding injured protesters near the fence.

Ths spokesperson of the ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, added that more than 100 protesters were injured on Friday, 40 of them with live ammunition, while the others suffered from tear-gas related injuries.

Al-Najjar was one of at least two medics who had been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great March of Return” began in Gaza on March 30th. Since then, 119 Palestinians have been killed, including journalists and children.

The weeks-long civilian protest was initially planned to end on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes and made refugees with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

However, protests have continued since, and are expected to continue into the coming weeks.

Tensions have remained high in Gaza, as Israeli forces have launched dozens of airstrikes on the small coastal enclave, killing at least four Palestinians, while armed political groups in Gaza launched dozens of rockets into Israel territory, injuring no one.
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'Palestinian Volunteer Medic Killed, Dozens Wounded' in Latest Protests on Israel-Gaza Border

Israeli firefighters take control of blazes in Gaza border communities ■ Thousands of protesters turn out for latest round of demonstrations

by Jack Khoury, Almog Ben Zikri and Yaniv Kubovich for Haaretz
Jun 01, 2018 8:01 PM

A Palestinian woman was killed by live fire and 40 others were wounded during demonstrations near the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Razan Najar, a 21-year-old volunteer for a medical team helping wounded protesters, was shot near Khan Yunis.

"Najar was shot in the neck while wearing a medical staff uniform and this is a war crime," said the Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Jawad Awaad. "Najar volunteered to help the medical teams back when the marches started and was hurt from gas inhalation several times." He added Najar gave an interview this afternoon, in which she said she was proud to help the wounded.

Israeli firefighters, meanwhile, took control of forest fires in communities near the border. The Israeli military reported thousands of demonstrations in five locations along the border, where protesters burned tires and attempted to damage security infrastructure. The military also reported that an armed Gazan opened fire at IDF vehicles and another Palestinian manage to cross the border in northern Gaza, detonate a grenade and return to the Strip.

Najar in an interview

About 300 people participated, concurrently, in Gaza solidarity protests in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Israeli Arab lawmakers Ayman Odeh and Yusef Jabareen, as well as Higher Arab Monitoring Committee leader Mohammad Barakeh, attended the protests. Police separated the protesters and right-wing counter-demonstrators.

Since the confrontations along the border of May 14, the number of participants has fallen dramatically, and Hamas and other Palestinian factions have set June 5 as the date for a march by tens of thousands to mark 51 years since the Six-Day War, known as Nakba Day by the Palestinians.

>> Still hoping to leverage Gaza protests, Hamas lacks enthusiasm for war with Israel | Analysis

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has updated its figures and says 118 people have died in the marches, after a 23-year-old Gaza resident succumbed Thursday to the gunshot wounds he suffered on May 14.

On Thursday, Physicians for Human Rights sent a shipment of medicines and medical equipment worth 400,000 shekels ($112,000) to Gaza. The shipment included 10 hospital beds for the intensive care wards in Gaza’s public hospitals, and dozens of types of equipment and drugs whose supplies have run out in the Gazan Health Ministry’s warehouses.

The equipment was bought with money from donations collected by the group in recent weeks from Israelis. Next week a PHR delegation of 14 doctors is expected to enter Gaza over the weekend to provide medical aid to the Palestinian health system. The delegation includes general and pulmonary surgeons, orthopedists, pediatricians, internal medicine specialists, neurologists, gastroenterologists and mental health experts. The physicians will conduct surgery, examine patients and help train the Palestinian medical staff.
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In memory of Razan al-Najjar

By Orly Noy | Published June 3, 2018 by 972Mag

Around two weeks ago, a Facebook friend of mine proposed an experiment to a small group of us. Social media has become a boxing ring, she said. The two sides, left and right, dig into their positions and slug it out in the comments — and that’s if they don’t just “block” each other. My friend suggested that for a month, we try to engage in a productive dialogue with right-wingers on Facebook, even with the most combative of commenters. After all, our aim is to change what and how people think, and to do that, we need to speak to other side. Let’s try it, I said, if only for a month — to see what happens.

For the past two days, I’ve been thinking about Razan al-Najjar, the 21-year-old paramedic shot and killed by Israeli soldiers Friday near the Gaza-Israel separation fence. According to witnesses, she was wearing her white paramedic’s uniform, attempting to treat protesters near the fence when she was shot. Immediately following Razan’s death, her picture appeared everywhere on my Facebook newsfeed. I, too, shared a post with her picture.

The angry responses came quickly.

Here was an opportunity to try out the dialogue experiment my friend had suggested, I thought. Maybe because Razan in her white uniform was so different from the image of the terrorist that the Israeli collective imagination assigned the protesters in Gaza, I hoped there would be an opening for compassion, for second thoughts, for a discourse free from blind hatred.

I was wrong.

Instead, the following responses came pouring in: “What was she doing there in the first place? “Why didn’t she wait for the wounded in the hospital?” “You really think our soldiers kill protesters on purpose?” “That’s how it is in war.” “Hamas makes them to go to these protests.”

I tried to respond with calm, level-headed answers.

She didn’t wait for the wounded at the hospital because the Israeli army’s massive use of live fire made it necessary for first responders to be in the field — just like Israeli medics would at a mass casualty event.

And no, this is not “how it is in war.” Firstly, this is not a war. This is heavily armed soldiers facing down unarmed protesters. Secondly, even in war there are rules, and sniper fire against medics, journalists and children is a war crime. Hamas did not force her to be there, either; numerous interviews with Razan were published in recent weeks in which she explains why she volunteered as a medic during the protests.

Then the more violent responses came, in public and in private messages — bizarre death threats, a lot of toxic invective. What kind of a dialogue is possible when faced with that?

Someone asked, “How do you know this is true, were you there?” He added a picture from 2001 suicide bombing of the Dolphinarium, a beach-front nightclub in Tel Aviv, to prove some inexplicable point. Another commenter responded, “How do you know there was an attack on the Dolphinarium, were you there?”Another yet claimed that the entire story of Razan was fabricated, that they put a paramedic’s uniform on her body only after she died. No amount of photos showing Najjar treating wounded protesters over the past month could convince him. Palestinians, to him, are liars by definition.

Taken together, the responses reflected the depressing fact that for most of the Israeli public, Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers are guilty by default. The identity of the deceased or the circumstances of the killing are irrelevant. Many of the commenters who responded to my post made the effort to stress that they were are right-wingers. One even identified as a supporter of Meretz, the dovish left-wing party.

I gave up on the conversation because it was too frustrating and instead continued to look for interviews conducted with Razan. There are quite a few online. The young medic, it seems, was of significant interest to numerous international media outlets. In one of the interviews, Razan says:

People ask my father what I’m doing here, and getting a salary. He tells them, ‘I’m proud of my daughter, she provides care to the children of our country.’ And because in our society, women are often judged, but society has to accept us . If people don’t want to accept us by choice, they will be forced to accept us. Because we have more strength than any man. The strength that I showed as a first-responder on the first day of the protests — I dare you to find it in anyone else.

After that, I watched a short video of young men and women, perhaps Razan’s friends, perhaps her family members, in tears, their piercing cries announcing her death. One of them held his head and shouted her name over and over again.

I then returned to the comments that had accumulated under the picture of the young woman who went to care for wounded protesters and came back in a shroud. My heart struggled to contain the sadness.

I apologize to my well-intentioned friend. The bitter truth is that the Israeli collective consciousness is light-years away from a place where it can even begin speak about the basic concepts of justice, human rights, and human equality before God. I doubt that years of occupation and moral corruption can be corrected.

I also apologize to Razan, the young Gazan woman who lived her whole life under occupation, more than half under the brutal siege. She did not taste a single day of freedom in her short life. She went out into the Valley of Death by the separation barrier to care for her wounded countrymen and never came back. With shame beyond words, I apologize. Rest in peace Razan, may your memory bring freedom and justice to your people.

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