IM condemns the killing of medical volunteer
IM Swedish Development Partner strongly condemns the killing of Razan Al Najjar, a 21-year-old female volunteering as a first responder while carrying out her humanitarian duties with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) in Gaza.
IM have been partners with PMRS since 2017 and support their humanitarian response as well as their longer term activities for the rights of children with disabilities in the Gaza Strip.
In the evening of Friday June 1, 2018 Razan Al Najjar was hit by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces while trying, with other first responders, to reach those injured during the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations close to Israel’s fence. According to UNOCHA’s statement, she was immediately taken to the European Gaza Hospital, where she died. Three others in her team were also injured.
Dr Aed Yaghi, PMRS Gaza director, said: “We are mourning this terrible loss and demand that Israel is held accountable for its crimes under International Humanitarian Law. Unless the international community assumes its responsibilities and puts pressure to end the occupation, more innocent civilians can lose their lives”.
“IM strongly condemns the lethal violence towards Razan Al Najjar. IM calls upon Israel to respect International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law”, says Mrs Ann Svensén Secretary General of IM. “We stand behind the below statement from Mr James Heenan, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)”, Mrs Svensén continues.
“Under international human rights law, which applies in this context along with international humanitarian law, lethal force may only be used as a last resort and when there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury. It is very difficult to see how Razan posed such a threat to heavily-armed, well-protected Israeli forces in defensive positions on the other side of the fence.”