Israeli occupation forces shot and killed a volunteer paramedic during a refugee camp raid, after which the army distributed a misleading propaganda video.
According to the investigation by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Sajed Mizher – aged just 17 – was shot in the abdomen while rushing to the aid of a wounded resident.
On 27 March, at around 2.30am, soldiers raided Dheisheh refugee camp located south of Bethlehem, in the southern occupied West Bank. Soldiers arrested a resident, then withdrew.
A few hours later, dozens of Israeli soldiers raided the camp again, and were confronted by local residents who threw stones at the occupation forces.
“During this raid,” B’Tselem noted, “three residents were injured by live fire – one in the shoulder, another in the hand, and a third in the leg. A team of paramedics and volunteers from the camp affiliated with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) was present during both raids.”
As Israeli soldiers were withdrawing, “one of them shot M.J., 20, a resident of the camp, injuring him in the leg”. Sajed Mizher, “who was wearing a medical crew vest and standing a few dozen meters behind the injured man”, ran to the injured man’s aid.
At that point, an Israeli soldier shot Sajed in the abdomen. Rushed to hospital, Sajed succumbed to his wounds roughly an hour after arrival.
Later that day, the Israeli military spokesperson published video footage in Arabic “showing a paramedic taking off his identifying vest and throwing stones from a rooftop while wearing a white shirt”. As B’Tselem noted, “the footage was presumably intended to justify the shooting of Muzhar.”
However, “B’Tselem’s investigation clearly found that the person captured on film was not Sajed Muzhar, who was shot at a different location, on the main road of the refugee camp.”
“Therefore,” the NGO added, “even for purposes of public relations, the footage the military published is of dubious value at best. It certainly does not constitute an explanation or justification for fatally shooting a 17-year-old volunteer medic.”