Crescent Kashmir

Israeli forces storm West Bank hospital in disguise

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JENIN: Israeli forces disguised as medical staff and civilians burst into a hospital in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday and shot three Palestinians dead, one of whom was lying paralysed in bed.

A border police counter-terrorism unit and a unit from the internal security forces, known as the Shin Bet, entered Ibn Sina hospital on the outskirts of the city’s refugee camp early Tuesday, CCTV footage of the aftermath of the operation showed.

The shooting was carried by undercover operatives while the men were sleeping at the hospital, according to the statements issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Israeli army.

The Israeli military identified one of the men killed as Mohammad Jalamneh, aged 27, who it claimed was planning an imminent attack and had been transferring weapons and ammunition to other members, Al Jazeera reported.

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The two other men killed, brothers Basil Ayman Al-Ghazzawi and Mohammad Ghazzawi, were hiding inside the hospital and were involved in attacks, the military alleged. “A gun was found on a wanted person, which was confiscated by the forces.”

CCTV footage from the hospital showed a group of about 10 people, dressed variously in civilian clothes and medical garb and including three in headscarves and women’s clothing, pacing through a corridor, armed with assault rifles and moving into the hospital.

The hospital’s director, Dr Naji Nazzal, said the Israeli team had entered the hospital at around 5:30am and made its way stealthily to the third floor, ringing the bell to enter the ward where the men were sleeping.

“They executed the three men as they slept in the room,” he told Reuters.

Hours later, a bloodied blue hospital pillow pierced by a bullet remained on a bed, while a folding bed nearby was also stained with blood, apparently from a shot to the head.

‘Targeted assassinations’

Dr Nazzal said Mr Basil had been receiving treatment since October 25 for a spinal injury which had paralysed him.

According to the medical staff, one of the three Palestinians killed in the hospital was being treated for an injury received during a previous army raid months ago, Al Jazeera reported.

“The Israeli army often surrounds and in some instances has attacked the three Palestinian hospitals in Jenin during nightly raids on the city,” he said.

“But this is the first time they have entered a civilian medical facility in what seems to have been a well-planned, targeted assassination operation that Palestinian authorities are calling another violation of international law,” he said, adding that there were no attempts to arrest these men.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2024


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