TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Israeli forces killed a Palestinian nurse on Friday as she tried to help a wounded protester at the Gaza border, according to health officials and a witness.
Razan Al-Najar’s death brought to 119 the number of Palestinians killed in weekly demonstrations launched on March 30 in the Gaza Strip.
Najar, a 21-year-old volunteer medic, was shot as she ran toward the fortified border fence, east of the south Gaza city of Khan Younis, in a bid to reach a casualty, a witness said, Reuters reported.
Wearing a white uniform, “she raised her hands high in a clear way, but Israeli soldiers fired and she was hit in the chest,” the witness, who requested anonymity, said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment on Najar’s killing.
Gazan medical officials said at least 100 Palestinians were wounded by army gunfire during Friday’s mass demonstrations.
In a separate statement, the Israeli military said its troops had acted to disperse “thousands of rioters” at five locations.
There have been no Israeli casualties during the border confrontations.
The surge in violence at the border crescendoed this week to the most intensive shelling exchanges between Israel and Hamas and another Palestinian resistance groups since a 2014. But the violence, which caused no fatalities, was reined in with Egyptian ceasefire mediation.
In the protests, billed as the “Great March of Return”, Palestinians have been calling for the right to return to lands lost to Israel during the 1948 war of its creation.
Israel’s lethal response has drawn international censure.
Friday’s turnout of protestors was less than in previous weeks, but is expected to grow next week as Palestinians mark the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 war.
Israel quit Gaza in 2005, but has elsewhere deepened illegal settlements on occupied land.
At her house in Khan Younis, Najar’s mother collapsed in grief as she was handed her daughter’s blood-stained uniform.
A statement from Gaza’s Health Ministry mourned Najar as a “martyr”.