Former IDF Soldier Falsely Accused of Killing Palestinian Paramedic

YERUSHALAYIM -

While the IDF was investigating allegations that an Israeli sniper shot and killed a Palestinian paramedic during rioting at the Gaza border on Friday, an Israeli soldier who had completed army service and was not at the scene was being falsely accused of the shooting on social media.

Reports of the death of Razan Najjar, an unarmed 21-year-old volunteer paramedic, triggered anger among Palestinians and internationally.

The IDF said that at the time Najjar was shot, the surrounding mayhem included “thousands of rioters” at five locations along the border, “burning tires adjacent to the security fence, and attempting to damage security infrastructure.”

It was not clear how the name of the former soldier was obtained, but posting of the false accusation on social media resulted in an inundation of hate messages sent to the soldier, as well as her family and friends, The Times of Israel reported on Sunday night.

The accusation was clearly untrue, as she was released from the army two and a half years ago, and never served as a sniper, as the postings alleged.

After receiving “hundreds of hate messages,” including death threats, she went to the police about it.

She said she is disheartened that tens of thousands of people around the world “were so eager to believe something that’s a lie and to put so much hate out there.”

She currently works for a gap year program in Israel, and next month begins teaching English to African asylum seekers, she said in a phone interview on Sunday.