On June 1st, 2018 Palestinian medic Razan Najjar was shot and killed by Israeli snipers while providing assistance to Palestinians injured during nonviolent Palestinian protests near the Gaza fence in Khan Younis. Razan was wearing a uniform that clearly identified her as a medic when she was shot. In the weeks leading up to her killing, Razan was a regular figure at the Great Return March protests. She was interviewed by the international media and her story has reached the world.
It is important to hear Razan’s story and to understand what drove her to risk her life to serve others. It is also important to understand that Razan is not unique. Over 250 Palestinian medical personnel in Gaza have been injured during protests over the last months, with over 25 being shot by Israeli snipers. At least 40 ambulances were also shot by Israeli soldiers. Each of these individuals also has a story to tell that is similar to Razan’s story.
When I was in Gaza last year I interviewed Sharouq Hajjar, a young Palestinian woman who now works for as a researcher with an NGO in Gaza. While Sharouq was studying in the university she worked as a volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, including during attacks on Gaza. During our discussion Shorouq spoke to me about what drove her to volunteer and take risks of her own. I want to share her story here and hope that it will help to further describe how Palestinians in Gaza are seeking to serve one another while struggling for their freedom.
Read Shorouq’s story below.