How an Israeli Soldier Killed Palestinian Medic Rouzan al-Najjar | NYT – Visual Investigations

How an Israeli Soldier Killed Palestinian Medic Rouzan al-Najjar | NYT – Visual Investigations


[gunfire] “We are learning more about
a young Palestinian nurse killed on Friday while —” “A young medic’s final moment: Rouzan al-Najjar
races to help an injured
Palestinian protester.” On June 1, 2018,
an Israeli soldier shot into a crowd
of protesters in Gaza, killing a volunteer
medic named Rouzan al-Najjar. “There has been a huge
reaction across Gaza to the death —” Her death sparked
outrage and grabbed the world’s attention. “She is the latest victim
of Israeli gunfire.” “The U.N. and
human rights groups have accused Israel of using
disproportionate force.” Israel says it uses live
fire only as a last resort. “We have a very specific
record of every shot.” “Israel only targeted
people who were actively engaged in violence.” “And we only use live fire in
a measured and surgical way.” But what about Rouzan? Israel’s army said it would
investigate her death, but they offered us
little explanation. “We don’t know exactly
how and what happened. The adverse
results are clear.” We’d met and
interviewed Rouzan weeks before she was killed. We returned to Gaza to
investigate her death and found that virtually every
minute of the day she died was filmed by journalists,
medics and protesters. We analyzed over 1,000 of
their photos and videos, frame by frame. We mapped the protest area. And with the agency
Forensic Architecture, we made a precise
3-D model of it. We studied ballistics evidence
and autopsy records. And our reporters reviewed
the visual evidence with more than
30 key witnesses. Our investigation reconstructs what happened
that day. It reveals how
Rouzan was killed, and shows how Israel
used lethal force to control the protests,
often in a way that has led to tragic consequences. Rouzan was already somewhat
of a local celebrity by the time
we met her in May. “Rouzan al-Najjar.” She was known for
being the first woman to volunteer as a medic
when protests began. By volunteering, Rouzan broke
Gaza’s rigid gender norms. She wasn’t a
doctor or a nurse. She told us she just
wanted to help the wounded. Gazans had been coming to the boundary line with Israel since March. They wanted to protest the blockade imposed by Israel since
Hamas seized power in Gaza 11 years ago. [chanting] Thousands came in peace — to highlight their grinding
poverty and isolation. But Hamas — which calls
for Israel’s destruction — saw a chance to
ride the wave of anger. They backed the protests, and urged participants
to break through the border fence. [chanting] Some protesters threw
stones, or flew burning kites into Israel. Others cut openings
in the fence, one that was built only
to detect intrusion, not stop it. To Israel, breaching
the fence amounted to an imminent threat
to rural communities a few hundred yards
from the Gaza side. “I can only, you know, use
what they publish here. And you can see here,
Nahal Oz. This is Gaza. Nahal Oz is 700 meters.” Taking no chances,
Israel warned that its army would use
lethal force against anyone who approached the fence,
and it did. On the worst day
of violence in May, it shot over 1,000 people. “I don’t know of any army that
would do anything differently if you had to protect
your border against people who say, ‘We’re going
to destroy you.’” But its soldiers also
shot even after violence had passed, and toward
non-violent protesters and bystanders who were
far from the fence. [gunfire] And that’s what happened on
the day Rouzan was killed. We’ll take you through
her final hour. But first, we’ll map out
the area around the fence, because the position of
soldiers and protesters that day is key to
understanding what follows. This is the fence that
separates Israel and Gaza. On the Israeli side, snipers
in jeeps are positioned here. Around 40 yards
into the Gaza side, are long coils of barbed wire. And for most of the afternoon,
protesters and onlookers are here, about
100 yards back. And what keeps the protesters
back there, and away from the fence, is tear gas. As protesters approach
the fence throwing stones, the Israel Defense Forces, the
I.D.F., repels them with gas. [shouting] It’s a scene that
replays over and over, and it keeps Rouzan and
the other medics busy. As a means to keep
back protesters, tear gas is working. But in the 15 minutes
before Rouzan is killed, the protesters move
closer toward the fence. There are three separate
incidents by the barbed wire, and the I.D.F. begins
to fire live rounds. The first incident
happens here, and it draws the medics in. Two protesters are
injured on the ground, and Rouzan leads the
medics to rescue them. She waves at soldiers
not to shoot. Medics are protected
by international law, but the I.D.F. fires a
warning shot near them. The medics see a soldier
emerge from behind a jeep, his rifle leveled at them. Rouzan is the last
to pull back. This is the first time
that medics are taken out by gas that afternoon. Back among the protest crowd,
Rouzan catches her breath. But the violence
around her intensifies. The second incident happens
far upfield, about 200 yards from the main protest area. A group of protesters
splits off and digs in at the barbed wire. The I.D.F. is caught off guard. They race up in jeeps. The protesters throw
stones and firebombs. The I.D.F. responds again with
a barrage of gas, pushing many of the protesters back. The I.D.F. told us firebombs
escalated matters. After they’re thrown, snipers
get ready atop this berm, near where the medics
and soldiers were face to face moments earlier. We’ll come back to
these berms, shortly. The third incident
happens here, to the other side of the
medics and protesters. Protesters attach a
hook to the barbed wire and start pulling
a segment away. Lamiaa, a medic who was
standing with Rouzan, senses danger. Again, the I.D.F. launches gas. The rope pullers tug away
a small coil of wire and run off. Much of the crowd
follows along. By now, Rouzan and
Lamiaa are walking back through the crowd,
far from the fence. We spot them in this
blurry Facebook Live video. For a moment, the
violent protesting seems to be dissipating. [gunfire] It’s 6:31, the fatal shot. Three medics fall — Mohammed, Rami and Rouzan. Doctors in a
nearby field clinic failed to resuscitate her. She’s rushed to a hospital,
but it’s too late. At 7:10, Rouzan is
pronounced dead. How did Rouzan die that day? We’ll freeze that
fatal moment in time. Here’s the shot. In the distance are the
three medics who are hit. Here’s Rami,
holding his thigh. There’s Mohammed. And here, to the left, is
Rouzan, partially obscured. She’s actually one
of eight medics in this particular frame. We worked with the research
agency Forensic Architecture to create a 3-D model
of the protest field from multiple cameras. Here are the medics in white,
and Rouzan in orange. Where did the shot come from? We drew a line through
Rouzan and Rami, the two medics who were
directly hit by the bullet. Allowing for a
margin of error, we traced the bullet back
to the same sand berms where the medics stood
opposite Israeli soldiers minutes earlier. How did one bullet hit two
medics and injure a third? The snipers are aiming
almost parallel to the ground and firing a large
battlefield bullet. Former snipers told us that
a hefty round like this could easily skim like a
stone off the rocky soil, endangering everyone
in its path — and that appears to
be what happened. Here’s another angle — [gunfire] the shot. [shouting] There’s Rami and Mohammed,
with only his legs visible. Let’s rewind. [gunfire] Notice, two people point. They told us they saw
where the bullet hit the ground, just a few
feet from the medics. The bullet continued onward . Here’s Rami. The bullet grazed his thigh. There’s Mohammed. The bullet sprayed
his torso with debris, including the copper jacket
of the bullet. And that’s Rouzan. The bullet pierced her chest
and severed her aorta. Two fragments came out
through her medic’s vest. We asked
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus how the I.D.F. decides
to shoot live rounds. “It would be a very precise
identification of a target where the sniper
asks for permission. The officer would
grant that permission and then the sniper would
execute that order.” “But that, that target has
to have been — himself or herself — has to have
been doing something violent that poses a threat?” “Yes. Whenever there was
a situation where we would have rioters
cutting the fence, throwing grenades and
being able to breach inside, those were the
situations where we took action against.” A senior I.D.F. commander
told us that soldiers shot four protesters that day. All of them, he said,
were acting violently. We found the first
and third targets in the group that
broke upfield. The first fell around
50 or 60 yards from the fence. We saw the third target
throwing stones a few minutes before he was shot. The fourth target appears
to have been alone when he was shot, around
150 yards from the fence. We don’t know
what he was doing. What about the second shot — the one that killed Rouzan? Who was acting
violently at that time? We analyzed videos taken
from several angles before the fatal shot,
frame by frame. We focus in on the
space between the medics and the soldiers
at the fence, and we don’t see a single
protester or violent threat within 100 yards of the fence. Remember, the I.D.F. says
it uses live fire only as a last resort. So why take that shot? We know it was
fired at 6:31 p.m. Right before this video clip. The senior I.D.F. commander
told us that at that time, they shot a protester
in a yellow shirt who was pulling at the fence
and throwing stones. We reviewed multiple videos
and found a few men wearing
yellow shirts, but only one near
the bullet’s path. The man in yellow
wasn’t acting violently in the minutes
before the shot, and he couldn’t have
been an imminent threat. He’s too far from the fence. He also wasn’t shot. And most importantly,
behind him were the medics
in white coats. “Really, the question
is, even if you had a legitimate target
with medics right behind, why would you take that shot?” “It’s very difficult to say. Very difficult to say. I mean, I think it’s —” “I mean, isn’t it reckless?” “No, I wouldn’t say so.” But the soldier fired
through a group of medics. We talked to a ballistics expert,
and former I.D.F. and U.S. army snipers. They told us it’s a
shot you don’t take. In public, Israel says
it uses lethal force as a last resort
against imminent threats to Israeli life. But at the border fence,
we found it took a more
permissive approach. It treated the crowd
of protesters itself as an imminent threat
and allowed soldiers to shoot pre-emptively
at targets within it to prevent a breach. That often meant putting
nonviolent protesters, bystanders and
medics at risk. [shouting] According to the Gaza Health Ministry, Israeli soldiers have
shot over 6,000 Palestinians in the protests of 2018. In Gaza, we saw many with
life-changing injuries. More than 180
have been killed. They include a journalist
who was filming the protests, a 15-year-old shot in the
chest, a 16-year-old who had his arms raised
and a young man shot in the back
while carrying a tire. And off-camera in August,
a senior Israeli commander told us that by then,
60 to 70 Palestinians were killed unintentionally. Israel has opened criminal
investigations into three cases, including Rouzan’s. But it’s done nothing
to adjust its policy on the use of lethal force. For now, Israel says that
protecting its border is a complicated business. “Unfortunately, yes, in
a situation like that, accidents happen, and
unintended results happen.”

100 thoughts on “How an Israeli Soldier Killed Palestinian Medic Rouzan al-Najjar | NYT – Visual Investigations”

  • paradigm respawn says:

    Appears that Israel are the most extreme Anti-Semitic Actors in this Conflict.
    Palestinian are a Semetic People as are ALL Arabic Peoples.
    Why risk the Political Fallout?

  • These Palestinians purpusely committed suicide so that Israel is to be blamed. When the palestine government unable to fight Israel, they used cilivians as shelter, encouraging civilians to become a glorious martyrs. Raising fundings to pay terrorist n martrys. But that the world will blame on Israel. Accusing Israel committing world crime.
    It was an old tactics. When the Muslim are weak, they will cry as a child like being bullied. Saying about human's rights. But when they are in power, u have totally no rights. All the Israelites will again perish n massacred n drown to the sea. In these case, I still support Israel. Say no to massacre.

  • Maybe this is why you don’t fire into crowds of civilians without an outstandingly clear shot. This was an actual murder and Israel will be cleared because “muh persecution!”

  • Ефим Шестик says:

    The New York Times supports Fakestinians Islamic Nazis Again that playing in Victim Games "Peaceful Protestors" not Violent rioters!
    Lessons Stabbing for Fakestinians Child https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBtEDMsl_SM

  • dear Rouzan al-Najjar, Allah has accepted your struggle in helping your people. May you be happy in jannah. Our doa is with you – from Counselling Teachers of Dungun, Malaysia.

  • It's Hamas fault that woman died, if they hadn't incited a riot, there wouldn't have been a reason to shoot at anyone. The IDF isn't the only one with blood on their hands, Razan's death was manslaughter, those snipers fired at the ground but the bullet bounced off the ground and hit her.

  • You sling rocks, start fires, tear down barriers what do you think the builders of the fence are going to do? How stupid are these people. They attack, get gased or shot and then cry they are were only "prostesting" and are innocent victims. Why do PA go to border and play the deadly game of toss rocks and run? Because its exicting. Why does Hamas encourage these protest? Because it generates "innocent victims" for propogandha purposes. Everyone manipulates the Palastian youth for their own purposes. Sad situation between two groups that believe in never turning the other cheek and for ever broken tooth some one's eye for revenge.

  • Israeli soldiers shoot ONLY if they have no choice. Having this job while being as humane as possible. If the Palestinians weren't so aggressive, Palestinians and Israelis would have lived in peace a long time ago.

  • Not surprised there is nothing about Rockets fired into Israel from Gaza today… According to NYT, Palestinians can do no wrong because they play the martyrs, and even though there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and if even only 10% hate Jews, then that means 150,000,000 Muslim Jew haters when in the world there are maybe only 20,000,000 Jews total. And we all know a lot more than 10% of Muslims in the world hate Jews, probably more like 90%, so maybe lay off Israel, since they just want to be left alone. Where are all the Palestinian saviors from their neighbors, other Muslims. Jews would help other Jews, why don't Muslims help Palestinians get out of poverty.? If Palestinians stop attacking Israel, they will be free

  • If they respected Israel enough to just leave them alone, no lives would be lost. Why do Palestinians like to make martyrs of each other? They should be looking toward the future, not the past.

  • look at them all standing right out in the open like a bunch of morons, what did they expect to happen? blow them kisses? friggin Morons.If your standing right out in the open throwing rocks at guys with guns you are obviously a simpleton.Just look at them all!

  • Love your twisted anti Israel news story. You are not obvious about your political motivations at all. No, really your not. Maybe if you told the complete story and all the facts it would be a little less obvious.

  • See this makes sense because you can't tell who the violent ones are and who the nonviolents are so if you shot at a nonviolent protestor in the heat of the moment then its understandable because of your reaction

  • New York Times is 100% Anti-Semitic. They single out the Jewish State for special criticism. Much worse stuff going on in other countries. Also, they run Anti-Semitic cartoons, they even whitewashed the Holocaust. Every subscriber to the New York Times is a Nazi because they all know this but don't care.

  • I think that what that lady was doing is a very good thing, and it was very brave. I think it's a horrible thing that she was shot while she was carrying for people. That being said, they were slinging fire balls and attacking the Israeli border. However I don't think they shouldn't shot when they weren't posing a threat at that time, I'm not completely against Israel.

  • This analysis is very interesting, real journalism. The excuses for the killing of Rouzan are offensive, they shot because they wanted to, they didn't care.

  • Don’t blame Israeli blame both country. The big and rich and killed both sides and yet instead of coming into a peace or better communication they all do is Killed both sides. And sad that the young and helpless are the ones that died first. Both sides have her blood in theirs hand.

  • Stone throwers do not propose a threat to anyone, they are not major league baseball pitchers. Israelis were more protected this day than Germans on Normandy beach. That massive of a technology difference is oppression. A group of maybe 50 Israelis can hold back 1,000s of people?

  • Israel just committed a war crime for killing a medic. I know like Japan in the World War, don’t play by the rules but really israel???

  • Jews should grow more and more gharqad trees coz only that tree will save them wait for that day wait for army of khorassan (afghan taliban)

  • Palestinians had it coming, they Knew what they were doing,they were treats, they implified their protest, wanted to breach in,to put israeli's People in danger, it was not a protest it was terrorism, what did you expect ? A kiss ? You knew the law, didnt care about it cuz your poor, in america that s how they use to treat outlaws also, even for americans, so for me its normal what happened to these Palestinians, these israeli's soldiers did their duty, what would you do in their places ? Let them in and get killed ? Please People be reasonnable you all know what desperate muslims are capable of. Think !

  • one day, those who you are aiming at, will ONLY use live, and direct deliberate fire in a surgical way, as well.
    Not a fan of any terrorist, evil, or negative person, entity, or movement.

    That said,
    Has Israel ever tried the 'hearts and minds' approach?
    setting up an 'information sharing center', where Palestinians can freely speak and offer info, data, and suggestions to make things PEACEFUL?

    I WILL BET ANYONE:
    you shall get more results, if you send cheap cell phones, educational books and materials, and bread…
    Rather than gas, bullets, etc.

    Up to you guys, ya know?
    Peace? Or War?
    Not difficult.

  • this was a case of the fog of war Rouzan will not be forgotten but the Israelis cannot be blamed, on both sides were scared humans who did what they could to keep themselves as safe as possible.

  • Terkutuk lah engkau wahai bani israeli…..burung itu akan datang kembali dan berharaplah itu tak akan membinasakan seluruh umat mu….

  • Isaac Leillhikar says:

    Strange irony, the Gazans are descended from the Philistines, of which was Goliath. And now they are often throwing rocks at Israel amung whom are the descendents of David.

  • Grabbing someones home and leaving them with one room ,and telling them not to protest ,its just the abuse of power ,America British created this ,but time as always changes and I can only sense it when it turns other way around Israeli s will pay for their deeds

  • Hamaz "Seized" power …. you mean they won the democratic elections and got killed for that.

    this is how democracy works. if the party you dont like wins, you genocide the place

    this is israeli democracy

  • shooting with cal.50 BMG on medics….bravo israel the most moral army. What is the difference between Israeli Soliders and Nazis ?

  • I was on that fence at the israeli side, That is not just rocks they throw at us, If we let them too close to the fence without gas or lethal force they throw nades and explosives across the fence and putting ied's on locked fences that are being opened for a patrol, We had a solider that his both arms flew out of his body because an IED on a fence, That is an international boarder with a terrorist group that use people with no education to run and hurt the fence instead of education and health they build tunnels… If u hate u find this artical very interesting. but this is just could be a stray bullet that hit a guy on the fence with nades and change its directing, We dont have cameras on the bullet only on the scopes. An israeli friend from my unit got shot dead by a HAMAS sniper on the boarder with a 50 cal sniper and one more with a 7.62 cal sniper, Its not just rocks my friends. And the black burning tires smokes is the worse they can push forward and breach without been seen OVERTHROW HAMAS AND BE THE HONG KONG OF THE MIDDLE EAST. GL&HF

  • What do you really protest in gun point against modernly weaponized army? I see this a big fancy show. All civilians are being used by the Palestinian government. People are stupid enough. I'm really tired of feeling sorry for people dying in this matter. That's enough. Leave political issues to governments. Don't leave your children and young people like this nurse in the middle of chaos. This is nonsense going on in Israel and Palestine matter.

  • Why is it . the UN and USA and UK do not impose sanctions on Israel for murder. Medics .kids . women are not targets . illegal under international law

  • 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱

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