Razan Ashraf al-Najjar was born on Sept 13, 1997, in Khuza’a, Gaza Strip, occupied Palestinian territory. She died after being shot while helping wounded citizens near the Israel–Gaza border, on June 1, 2018. She was 20 years old. For the last two years, she had been a volunteer with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS).
hera came to learn of her death while working on an evaluation of the PMRS Women’s Health Programme (WHP) 2013-2017 funded by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The WHP was designed to reach Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip with easy, timely and affordable access to quality and comprehensive reproductive health services in communities not (well) served by other providers, to support reproductive health rights and to influence National (i.e. Palestinian Authority) reproductive health policies. The leader of the hera evaluation team Oriol Ramis says that working with PMRS this year during the ‘March of Return’ demonstrations and the Israeli attacks was challenging. The loss of Razan in June was a tragic and a tremendous blow for many people involved.
According to her obituary published in the Lancet, Razan’s funeral was attended by thousands of people, shocked by her death. Mustafa Barghouti the president of the PMRS, says that since her death, many people have started to come forward to train as PMRS volunteer emergency workers. Razan’s own mother phoned him and asked to volunteer. It is perhaps a small concession for the PMRS after a tragic loss. Volunteers, Barghouti says, lend critically needed flexibility and support to the PMRS when responding to emergency situations.
hera would like to extend our sympathies and support to Razan's family and all those working and volunteering with the PMRS.