'Palestinian Volunteer Medic Killed, Dozens Wounded' in Latest Protests on Israel-Gaza Border

Israeli firefighters take control of blazes in Gaza border communities ■ Thousands of protesters turn out for latest round of demonstrations

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Palestinian protesters flee from incoming tear gas canisters during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Khan Yunis, Gaza, June 1, 2018.
Palestinian protesters flee from incoming tear gas canisters during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Khan Yunis, Gaza, June 1, 2018. Credit: SAID KHATIB/AFP

A Palestinian woman was killed by live fire and 40 others were wounded during demonstrations near the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Razan Najar, a 21-year-old volunteer for a medical team helping wounded protesters, was shot near Khan Yunis.

"Najar was shot in the neck while wearing a medical staff uniform and this is a war crime," said the Palestinian Health Minister Dr. Jawad Awaad. "Najar volunteered to help the medical teams back when the marches started and was hurt from gas inhalation several times." He added Najar gave an interview this afternoon, in which she said she was proud to help the wounded.

Israeli firefighters, meanwhile, took control of forest fires in communities near the border. The Israeli military reported thousands of demonstrations in five locations along the border, where protesters burned tires and attempted to damage security infrastructure. The military also reported that an armed Gazan opened fire at IDF vehicles and another Palestinian manage to cross the border in northern Gaza, detonate a grenade and return to the Strip.

Najar in an interview

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About 300 people participated, concurrently, in Gaza solidarity protests in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Israeli Arab lawmakers Ayman Odeh and Yusef Jabareen, as well as Higher Arab Monitoring Committee leader Mohammad Barakeh, attended the protests. Police separated the protesters and right-wing counter-demonstrators.

Razan Najar, the 21-year-old volunteer medic killed during protests on the Israel-Gaza border on June 1, 2018.

Since the confrontations along the border of May 14, the number of participants has fallen dramatically, and Hamas and other Palestinian factions have set June 5 as the date for a march by tens of thousands to mark 51 years since the Six-Day War, known as Nakba Day by the Palestinians.

>> Still hoping to leverage Gaza protests, Hamas lacks enthusiasm for war with Israel | Analysis

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has updated its figures and says 118 people have died in the marches, after a 23-year-old Gaza resident succumbed Thursday to the gunshot wounds he suffered on May 14.

On Thursday, Physicians for Human Rights sent a shipment of medicines and medical equipment worth 400,000 shekels ($112,000) to Gaza. The shipment included 10 hospital beds for the intensive care wards in Gaza’s public hospitals, and dozens of types of equipment and drugs whose supplies have run out in the Gazan Health Ministry’s warehouses.

>> Gaza flare-up: How one Israeli tank shell almost started an all-out war | Analysis

The equipment was bought with money from donations collected by the group in recent weeks from Israelis. Next week a PHR delegation of 14 doctors is expected to enter Gaza over the weekend to provide medical aid to the Palestinian health system. The delegation includes general and pulmonary surgeons, orthopedists, pediatricians, internal medicine specialists, neurologists, gastroenterologists and mental health experts. The physicians will conduct surgery, examine patients and help train the Palestinian medical staff.

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