A 21-year-old Palestinian paramedic was fatally shot in the chest by Israeli Defense Forces near the Gaza border. Now, as it has done numerous times in the past, the IDF is running a smear campaign against her.
Top IDF spokesperson Maj. Avichay Adraee stated “Razan al-Najjar is not the angel of mercy Hamas propaganda is making her out to be,” according to the Times of Israel.
He also accompanied his tweet with a video compilation allegedly showing al-Najjar during various instances near the border.
The video was released a few days later after the Israeli forces investigated al-Najjar’s death and claimed she was not intentionally targeted by the sharpshooters.
One part of the video shows al-Najjar giving an interview to an Arabic news outlet.
“I’m here on the line being a protective human shield saving the injured,” al-Najjar, stated before the clipping was cut off.
In another segment, a woman — whom the Israeli military claims is al-Najjar but whose face is hidden by a surgical mask — is seen lobbing what seems to be a smoking canister in a field.
“By her own admission, she was a human shield for the rioters and saboteurs, demonstrating how Hamas exploits all of Gazan society for its own purposes as well as Iran’s,” said Adraee.
“Do medics in other countries throw bombs and participate in riots and refer to themselves as human shields?”
The field seems to be largely empty and the smoke grenade only falls a short distance away but the military insists the woman threw it at Israeli soldiers.
The video, like many other media on Palestinians released by IDF, seems to be rife with propaganda and is designed to hurl mud at the young paramedic’s character. It seems even more so, since the Israeli army claimed they did not intentionally target al-Najjar, yet still compiled a video designed to portray her as an instigator.
This video is a despicable desecration of the dead. @IDFSpokesperson edited a video of the murdered medic Razan al-Najjar to say "I am a human shield," when what Razan ACTUALLY says is, "I'm here as a rescuing human shield to protect and save the wounded at the frontlines." https://t.co/t7ek4sdS07— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) June 7, 2018
The Palestinian Medical Relief Society and several eyewitnesses at the scene said al-Najjar was treating an injured man less than 100 meters from the fence when the bullet pierced her.
Throughout the months-long campaign, IDF argued they only fired at instigators. However, military officials acknowledged some people may have been shot accidentally due to the smoky and crowded conditions of the protest.
Medical workers are #NotATarget! My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of #Razan_AlNajjar! #Palestinians in #Gaza have had enough suffering. #Israel needs to calibrate its use of force and Hamas need to prevent incidents at the fence. Escalation only costs more lives.— Nickolay E. MLADENOV (@nmladenov) June 2, 2018
This tactic of Israel to brand Palestinians as instigators or people controlled by Hamas, is nothing new.
In April, Israeli snipers shot and killed Yaser Murtaja, a Palestinian photographer and activist, despite the fact he was wearing a flak-jacket with the words “PRESS” boldly written on it and was not using a drone for filming — a tactic that IDF has said would get one immediately shot.
IDF then embarked on a defamation campaign against the 30-year-old man accusing him of being a high-ranking Hamas member.
The Israeli Defense Forces explanation at that time was filled with holes. With al-Najjar’s death, it seems IDF is going to continue employing this tactic to portray innocent victims as terrorists.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem