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Israeli troops kill Palestinian medic in occupied West Bank

  • 27 Mar 2019

Palestinian health ministry says Sajid Muzher, 18, was killed in Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem city. Rights groups say, if confirmed, his death will be the fourth killing of a Palestinian medic by Israel since 2018.

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian volunteer paramedic Sajed Mezher who was killed by Israeli occupation troops, during his funeral in Bethlehem in Israeli-occupied West Bank March 27, 2019. ( Reuters )

A Palestinian volunteer medic was killed by Israeli forces during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Sajid Muzher, 18, was killed in the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, the ministry said.

He was shot by Israeli forces while volunteering as a medic, a ministry spokesman told AFP news agency.

The Israeli army did not comment on the death but said occupying troops were responding to a "violent riot".

'A war crime'

In a statement, Palestinian health minister Jawad Awad said the "occupation's killing of a volunteer medic by shooting him in the stomach is a war crime."

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society confirmed he was working with them, saying in a statement he was shot while trying to treat a person wounded in the clashes.

Israeli forces frequently enter West Bank refugee camps to carry out arrests or other operations, often sparking clashes with residents.

The army released a video showing a man put down his jacket and hurl stones at soldiers. But when contacted by AFP, the Israeli occupying forces could not confirm it was the medic.

'Tragic loss'

The World Health Organization "strongly condemned" the killing in a statement, saying the man was killed while providing care to the injured.

"We are saddened by this tragic loss. Health workers provide critical care and save lives. Their protection must be ensured," said Gerald Rockenschaub, head of the WHO office for the West Bank and Gaza.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch country director, told AFP that if confirmed the death "would mark at least the fourth clearly identifiable Palestinian medic gunned down by Israeli forces in the last year."

"Routine unlawful killings by Israeli forces and full impunity in Israel highlight the need for the International Criminal Court to open a formal probe into serious crimes committed in Palestine," he said.

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