Israeli Military Says to Probe Killing of Gaza Nurse
The Israeli military said on Saturday it was investigating the apparent killing by its troops of a Palestinian nurse on Friday during riots along the Gaza border.
Health officials and witnesses said Israeli forces shot dead 21-year-old Razan al-Najar, a volunteer medic, as she ran toward the border fence, east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, in a bid to reach a casualty.
The Israeli military said Palestinian terrorists had attacked its troops along the border with gunfire and a grenade.
In a written statement on Saturday, the military said it would investigate al-Najar’s death.
Thousands of people attended al-Najar’s funeral in Gaza on Saturday, including some she had treated when they were wounded at previous border riots. Her body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and carried through the streets on a stretcher by mourners.
“With our souls and blood we redeem you martyr Razan,” cried mourners as the body was brought to her home for a last farewell before burial.
Residents said al-Najar was a popular figure at the riot sites and pictures depicting her as an angel circulated on Palestinian social media.
Her death brought to 119 the number of Palestinians killed in weekly riots launched on March 30 in the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas and long subject to grinding Israeli and Egyptian embargoes.
The UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov said on Twitter: “Medical workers are #NotATarget!”
“#Israel needs to calibrate its use of force and Hamas need to prevent incidents at the fence. Escalation only costs more lives,” he added.
Israel has drawn international condemnation for its use of deadly force during the border riots. It says many of those killed were Hamas members and other terrorists trying to launch attacks under cover of the protests.
The Israeli military said in its statement: “The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) constantly works to draw operational lessons and reduce the number of casualties in the area of the Gaza Strip security fence. Unfortunately, the Hamas terror organization deliberately and methodically places civilians in danger.”