Razan al-Najjar. She was 20 years old. Only 20. She was a Palestinian medic. She was helping injured protestors during the peaceful demonstrations of the ‘Great March of Return,’ which was started by Gazans 10 weeks ago. Israeli soldiers responded with lethal weapons and 118 Palestinian protesters were martyred and hundreds more injured during the ten-week protests. Razan al-Najjar, a beautiful, lively and bright 20 year-old nurse, had volunteered to aid the wounded protestors throughout the march. About a month ago, in an interview, she said, “I am doing this job voluntarily. I am doing this for Allah (God), for humanity. I will be helping people until I die, and I am proud of this.”
On Friday, June 1, Razan was on duty during protests in Khan Yunis. She was wearing her white coat. It was very clear that she was a medic, that she was a health care worker. She was running toward a wounded protestor. One hour before iftar (fast-breaking meal) and one month before her engagement, she abruptly fell on her back. Maybe she didn’t even realize that a bullet had pierced her chest. Her snow-white coat was covered in scarlet. Her fiancé was devastated. Her mother was devastated. Her proud father was devastated. They buried their martyr with a ceremony in Gaza. Just like that, Razan became the 119th martyr of the Great March of Return. She was included in records and statistics as the “119th martyr.”
Witnesses say that the bullet was shot from 100 hundred meters away. It is impossible that the miscreant who pulled the trigger did not notice that Razan was a medic and wearing a white coat. Razan was murdered deliberately and arbitrarily by a vile sniper of the abominable Israeli army.
Unsurprisingly, no one cared about the arbitrary killing of a medic by the Israeli army. The United Nations did nothing but publish a meager declaration. Non-governmental organizations did not seem to notice what had happened. Western international media organizations like The New York Times published the story almost mockingly with titles like “Palestinian Woman Killed in Gaza Protest.”
Of course Israel didn’t feel the smallest pressure regarding this incident; it said “We will see” and put a lid on the subject.
Nurse Razan was born in Gaza, a vast open-air prison. She grew up in hardship, poverty and bombings. Despite all the difficult circumstances, she got an education and became a nurse. Apparently her participation in the protests was not approved by some. Also, people frequently went to her father to complain. But she ignored all these negative remarks. She expressed how proud her father was of her. “Who is going to help if women protestors get injured?” and “Women are stronger than men,” she said. She had participated in the protests, worked voluntarily for her country from the very first day. Nurse Razan was one of the brave Palestinian women who have been carrying Palestine’s struggle on their shoulders from the beginning.
All that remains from Nurse Razan are a couple of photographs and videos. Nurse Razan earned her unforgettable place in the Palestinian cause with her red hijab, white coat, bright eyes and brave stance.
Nurse Razan also left behind an unfinished life and the engagement ring she will never wear.
Razan al-Najjar was only 20. They shot her consciously and arbitrarily. They had shot 118 people and nobody had objected, so they shot one other. They killed a poor 20-year-old nurse on a Friday in Ramadan, 10 minutes before iftar and one month before her engagement.
May Nurse Razan rest in peace. Our deepest condolences are with her family, Palestine, and everyone who has supported the Palestinian cause. We will never forget Nurse Razan with her smiling face, full of hope and life, and her firm spirit. May Allah bless her…