RAMALLAH, West Bank – Israeli forces disguised as locals killed a Palestinian man on Thursday during a raid at a West Bank hospital, a Palestinian hospital official said. The Israeli military said troops shot a man at the hospital while they were there to arrest a suspect in a stabbing attack.
Jihad Shawar, the director of Al-Ahli hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron, said more than 20 undercover Israeli forces posing as locals, including one pretending to be a woman in labor, entered the hospital overnight. They went to the surgical unit, where they pulled out their guns and stormed a room where Azzam Shalaldeh was being treated for gunshot wounds, he said.
The forces handcuffed Shalaldeh and a brother who was in the room, then shot and killed another brother, 27-year-old Abdallah, as he emerged from a bathroom, Shawar said.
Footage said to be from a security camera at the hospital and posted to Israeli news sites showed at least a dozen men, some wearing traditional Palestinian scarves called keffiyeh, pushing a man in a wheelchair down a hall as perplexed nurses look on.
“This is an outright crime. This is against international law. No one should violate hospitals, but Israel did,” Shawar said.
The Israeli military said forces entered the hospital to arrest Azzam Shalaldeh, who they say stabbed an Israeli last month. During the arrest, a man at the hospital attacked the troops, who responded by shooting him, the military said.
The Israeli military did not provide additional details of the operation, or say whether the troops were undercover. It also did not give the identity or condition of the man who was shot.
The military said it arrested Shalaldeh, who was born in 1995 and comes from a family of “known Hamas operatives.”
Shalaldeh was being treated at the hospital for gunshot wounds, which the military said were sustained when the Israeli he stabbed last month shot him.
The raid comes as a nearly two month-long outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence shows no signs of abating. Twelve Israelis have been killed in a spate of attacks by Palestinians, while 78 Palestinians have been killed, 50 of them said by Israel to be attackers, and the remainder killed in clashes with Israeli forces.
Hebron, the largest West Bank city, has been a particular flashpoint in the unrest. Several hundred Jewish settlers live in fortified enclaves in the city, amid tens of thousands of Palestinians.
The violence erupted in Jerusalem over tensions surrounding a holy site sacred to both Jews and Muslims and quickly spread throughout Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
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