Sunday 18 August 2019

Undercover Israeli agents kill Palestinian in hospital

Israeli undercover forces captured on CCTV in a raid on a hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron
Israeli undercover forces captured on CCTV in a raid on a hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron

Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah

Israeli forces have sparked outrage after disguising themselves as locals and killing a Palestinian man during a raid at a West Bank hospital.

The soldiers wore traditional Arab outfits and one impersonated a pregnant woman while others wore fake beards.

The raid took place in Hebron, a volatile city in the southern West Bank that has been a frequent flashpoint of violence during weeks of Israel-Palestinian unrest.

Jihad Shawar, director of Al-Ahli hospital, said more than 20 undercover Israeli forces 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.

The forces handcuffed Shalaldeh and one of his brothers who was in the room, then shot and killed another brother, 27-year-old Abdallah, as he emerged from a bathroom, Shawar said.

"This is an outright crime," Shawar said. "No one should violate hospitals, but Israel did."

Osama Najjar, the spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry, called the incident an "assassination".

The Israeli military said troops shot a man at the hospital while they were there to arrest a suspect in a stabbing attack. It claimed the man had tried to attack the troops.

The hospital has released security camera footage showing about a dozen men walking down a hospital corridor, pushing someone covered in a blanket in a wheelchair.

The person in the wheelchair then flings the blanket off, stands up and, with the other men, draws a gun and continues walking.

The men are joined by what appear to be two women, one wearing a niqab, a garment covering the face and body. The other appears to be pregnant and has her hand on her lower back as she walks with the group of men.

Minutes later, the men, some wearing traditional Palestinian scarves and others donning what appear to be fake beards and moustaches, push a man in a wheelchair - apparently the arrested suspect Azzam Shalaldeh - back down the hall, as perplexed nurses look on.

Later, the military said Shalaldeh had seriously wounded an Israeli man when he stabbed him in the chest in the West Bank last month.

"During his escape, the assailant was shot and injured by his victim," the military said.

It said Shalaldeh is about 20 years old and comes from a family of "known Hamas operatives".

The raid comes as a nearly two month-long outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence shows no sign of abating. Twelve Israelis have been killed in a spate of attacks by Palestinians, while 78 Palestinians have been killed. Fifty of them were said by Israel to be attackers, with the remainder killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

Irish Independent

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