Israel orders criminal probe into Gaza medic’s death

The Israeli army has launched a criminal investigation into the killing of Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar during anti-occupation protests in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media on Tuesday.

Al-Najjar was shot in the chest by Israeli snipers last June while running to help a wounded Palestinian in the southern city of Khan Younis.

A preliminary probe by the Israeli army concluded that Israeli soldiers did not fire directly at the Palestinian medic.

But the findings were rejected by the army's Military Advocate General, Brigadier-General Sharon Afek, who ordered a criminal investigation into the killing, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

For the last seven months, Palestinians in Gaza have been staging regular demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to demand the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948.

They also demand an end to Israel's 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Since the rallies began on March 30, more than 200 Palestinians have been martyred-- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.

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