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Thousands mourn Palestinian medic killed by Israeli gunfire

Funeral of a 21-year-old medic shot and killed as she was trying to give aid to a protester drew thousands of Palestinians on Saturday.


Medical workers dressed in white uniforms were part of the funeral procession for Razan al-Najjar, who witnesses say was shot by Israeli soldiers near the border fence Friday.

Witnesses said Razan was killed while trying to evacuate a wounded protester lying on the Israeli side of the fence after cutting a hole to get through.

She was wearing her medic's vest as she approached the fence with both of her arms raised to show Israeli soldiers she posed no threat but was shot in the chest, according to the witnesses.

The protests, dubbed the Great March of Return, began as a six-week campaign organized by Palestinians to rally on Fridays near the Gaza-Israel border to demand Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to what is now Israel.

Since the conflict began in March, more than 120 Palestinians have been killed at the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials say they have a right to defend the border during Palestinian protests at the fence.

The Israeli military on Saturday said that it would investigate the death but said its troops worked "in accordance with standard operating procedures."

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) constantly works to draw operational lessons and reduce the number of casualties in the area of the Gaza Strip security fence," according to a statement. "Unfortunately, the Hamas terror organization deliberately and methodically places civilians in danger."

On Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley vetoed a resolution that would have offered "international protection" for Palestinian civilians.

Kuwait introduced the resolution to the U.N. Security Council as a response to recent violent escalations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces on the Gaza Strip.
By Susan McFarland

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