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ISRAELI forces shot and killed a Palestinian junior paramedic during a raid at the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem this morning.
Sajed Abed al-Hakim Mizher died after he was hit by a live bullet in the stomach despite wearing a high-vis jacket and a rescue service uniform.
The 17-year-old was called to the refugee camp in south of the West Bank along with other local paramedics to provide first aid treatment to the injured after confrontations sparked when Israeli forces entered to conduct arrests.
During his funeral later that day, clashes erupted in the northern entrance to Bethlehem with protesters blocking the roads with five people being injured from rubber bullets.
Sajed’s cousin Thaer was also killed by an Israeli live round in the chest aged 15 at the same camp in July last year.
Palestinian Health Minister Jawad Awad slammed the killing of Sajed as “a war crime which shows the Israeli military’s insistence on violating all international treaties and conventions on protection of paramedics during times of conflict.”
He called on international human rights organisations and the international community to take urgent action to protect unarmed Palestinians killed by the Israeli army.
The Palestinian Medical Relief Society, which Sajed was volunteering for, released a statement to say they were in shock and mourning.
“We call on all our partners to condemn unequivocally this severe violation of international humanitarian law by Israel and to demand the immediate cessation of attacks on medical personnel and other protected persons,” they said.
The World Health Organisation also condemned the killing of Sajed, saying that health workers who provide critical care and save lives must be protected.
Sajed is the fourth medic to be killed by Israeli forces so far this year.
Last month, United Nations investigators accused Israeli soldiers of intentionally firing on civilians and said that they may have committed war crimes in their response to demonstrations in Gaza.
With Israeli elections coming up in April, the state has increased attacks on demonstrators fighting for their right to return to the stolen lands, a pattern emerging from previous elections in 2015, 2013 and 2009.
Despite a supposed ceasefire, Israel’s war planes carried out more than 50 strikes on the Gaza Strip on Monday and Tuesday night, destroying 500 Palestinian homes.
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