Israeli occupation forces shot dead a volunteer medic and injured dozens of people as they continued their indiscriminate attacks on Palestinians taking part in Great March of Return protests in Gaza for the 10th consecutive Friday.
Razan Ashraf Abdul Qadir al-Najjar, 21, was helping treat and evacuate wounded protesters east of Khan Younis when she was fatally shot on Friday evening.
She was about 100 meters away from the boundary fence with Israel at the moment she was shot and was wearing clothing clearly identifying her as a medic, the human rights group Al Mezan stated, citing eyewitnesses and its investigations. Al Mezan stated that al-Najjar was shot in the back.
However, on Saturday, the Associated Press reported, citing the Khan Younis hospital where al-Najjar was taken, that she “had a gunshot wound in the chest with an exit wound in the back.”
Al-Najjar had become known for her bravery and insistence on carrying out her medical rescue work despite the obvious danger.
She had previously been injured by tear gas inhalation, and on 13 April broke her wrist while running to attend to a wounded person. But al-Najjar refused to go to the hospital that day and continued working in the field.
“It’s my duty and responsibility to be there and aid those injured,” she told Al Jazeera.
She also bore witness to the final moments of some of those fatally wounded before her.
“It breaks my heart that some of the young men who were injured or killed made their wills in front of me,” she told Al Jazeera. “Some even gave me their accessories [as gifts] before they died.”
Al-Najjar spoke about her work in an earlier TV interview that was shared widely on social media following the news of her death:
Many Twitter users, especially from Gaza, paid tribute to al-Najjar:
I can’t believe she’s been murdured. I have been very proud of how she had grown to be a strong and kind woman. I remember her as a kid playing around. Whenever she came to visit my grandma would call me to go to play with her… my heart is in pieces #GreatReturnMarch pic.twitter.com/ghd6PESnpU
— Dalia Alnajjar (@AlnajjarDalia) June 1, 2018