The Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem today released a report about the killing of Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar (20), who was fatally shot in the chest while nursing the wounded in Gaza on the 1st of June during the Great March of Return.
The report is directly contradicting the Israeli army claim that it was “just an accident”:
“Contrary to the many versions offered by the military, the facts of the case lead to only one conclusion. An investigation conducted by B’Tselem proves 20-year-old a-Najar was fatally shot by a member of the security forces who was aiming directly at her as she was standing about 25 meters away from the fence, despite the fact that she posed no danger to him or anyone else and was wearing a medical uniform”, B’Tselem write.
The report draws on several testimonies by colleague medics who were with Razan (also referred to as ‘Rozan a-Najar’). Here’s an excerpt of the testimony by paramedic Rami Abu Jazar, who tells what happened after the paramedic team was targeted with tear gas and had recovered from the choking effect:
“After we had moved away, we started feeling better and decided to go closer to the protesters. We stood about 10 meters away from them, which was about 25 meters away from the fence. There were no protesters near us. At around a quarter to six, we saw two soldiers get out of a military jeep, kneel and aim their guns at us, taking up a sniper stance. Rozan was standing to my right and Rasha was behind me. We were talking. Suddenly, they fired two live bullets at us. I looked at Rozan and saw her point to her back and then fall down. A second later, I fell too, because I had been hit above the left knee. I was later told that Rozan had been hit in the left side of the chest. Mahmoud was hit by shrapnel in the right hand and the pelvic area.”
B’Tselem lists the “many versions” the army offered of the event:
“The IDF Spokesperson tried to clear the military of responsibility for a-Najar’s death, initially saying that soldiers did not fire at the spot where she had been standing. Later, the military said a-Najar might have been killed by a ricochet, before finally accusing her of serving as a human shield for rioters.”
And it concludes with a devastating condemnation of the Israeli army, state and legal apparatus:
“The disavowal of responsibility for a-Najar’s killing by the IDF Spokesperson and other Israeli state officials should not be construed as an instance of the competent authorities informing the public of the facts. Far from it. They are simply part of the efforts made by the authorities responsible for this policy to mitigate the damage to Israel’s image by hiding and whitewashing the facts. Yet, propaganda and reality are two different things. In reality, Israel is indifferent to the killing of Palestinians. Otherwise, it would long ago have changed its open-fire policy and stopped shooting at unarmed protesters on the other side of the fence who pose no danger to anyone. Evidence of this criminal policy is found time and time again as the military persists in implementing it unchanged, enlisting its whitewashing apparatus to back it up, which almost always ensure no one will be held accountable for the killing of Palestinians even in outrageous circumstances such as a-Najar’s killing.”
This is the point where also Haaretz correspondent Asaf Ronel will have to eat his hat. He had opined that “it’s unlikely that a sniper deliberately killed Razan al-Najjar”.
B’Tselem is telling us that it is not “unlikely” at all, and furthermore, that she was “deliberately and fatally shot”. They are all but using the term “murder”. But that’s the obvious conclusion of it. And they are basically saying to us, that if Israel is left to its own devices on this, it will, once again, get away with murder.
Thanks to Orly Noy