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Palestinian Medic Killed During Protest at Gaza Border

Razan Al-Najjar’s father displays her bloodstained medic vest during her funeral Razan Al-Najjar’s father displays her bloodstained medic vest during her funeral AFP

2 June 2018

The Disproportionate Use of Force by Israeli Military Claims the Life of Razan Al-Najjar

On 1 June 2018, Palestinian volunteer medic, Razan Al-Najjar, was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper during a protest at the Gaza border. Al-Najjar was a member of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society and was shot while attempting to aid an injured protester approximately 100 yards from the Israeli military. She wore the distinguishable medic uniform and held her hands in the air to indicate that she was not a threat to the armed soldiers. Despite this Al-Najjar was deliberately hit by an explosive bullet, which is prohibited under international law.

While protesting in support of their right to return to their homes in Israel, more than 118 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military at the Gaza border since March this year. The weekly protests are called “the Great March of Return”, and have been occuring every friday for the past three months. The protests were scheduled to end on 15 May to represent al-Nekba, the forced removal of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948, but they have continued, and Palestinian casualties have continued to rise in a drastic manner.  

The United Nations and human rights officials have accused the Israeli military of using disproportionate force against the Palestinian protesters. On 8 June, the President of the United Nations General Assembly called for an emergency meeting to negotiate a resolution to protect Palestinians from the Israeli military during their protests. In relation to the death of Razan Al-Najjar, shooting at a medical personnel is defined as a war crime by the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Israeli military will be investigated for their unreasonable use of force toward the volunteer medic.


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