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Israel undercover agents kill 3 Palestinians in West Bank hospital

US imposes sanctions on settlers over attacks on Palestinians
Source: Video Screenshot

Undercover Israeli agents, some disguised as medical staff, raided a West Bank hospital Tuesday and shot dead three Palestinians the army alleged were Hamas militants, in the first such operation in eight years.

An AFP photographer saw a bullet hole on a pillow covered in blood following the raid at Ibn Sina Hospital in the northern city of Jenin, where Palestinians gathered around the bodies of those killed.

The Israeli military said forces entered the hospital — a major health facility serving Jenin city and its adjacent refugee camp — to target a “Hamas terrorist cell”.

Announcing the killing by Israeli forces of three people inside the hospital, the Palestinian health ministry stressed healthcare facilities are granted special protection under international law.

“The minister of health calls urgently on the United Nations General Assembly, international institutions and human rights organisations to end the daily string of crimes committed by the occupation (Israel) against our people and health centres,” a ministry statement said.

CCTV footage said to be from the hospital shows multiple armed men and women, disguised in medical uniforms or civilian clothes, moving through the wards.

The video — which AFP could not immediately verify — shows them using a baby carrier and a wheelchair as props.

Hospital director Naji Nazzal told AFP that “a group of Israeli forces entered the facility undercover and assassinated the men”. They used weapons fitted with silencers, he said.

Inside the hospital, the AFP photographer saw blood soaked into a mat and a chair, and spattered across a wall.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa named the three men as Muhammad Jalamnah, Muhammad Ayman Ghazawi and Basel Ayman Ghazawi.

“The operation was carried out at the hospital’s rehabilitation ward where Basel Ghazawi had been undergoing treatment,” the hospital’s director said.

The Israeli army charged that Jalamnah was a “terrorist” with the militant group Hamas hiding in the hospital. Two other “terrorists” who were also hiding inside were “neutralised” along with him.

Jalamnah was involved in “significant terrorist activity” and was known for distributing weapons and ammunition for use in shootings, the army added.

It said he had been “inspired” by the October 7 attacks by Hamas militants in Gaza, that resulted in about 1,140 deaths, mostly civilians, in southern Israel, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

He “planned to carry out a terror attack in the immediate future and used the hospital as a hiding place and therefore was neutralised,” it added,

Israel, which has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, has stepped up its incursions into Palestinian towns ands cities since October 7.

Jenin has been the focus of repeated Israeli raids, in which the army has demolished homes and ripped up streets as well as carrying out air strikes.

While Palestinians frequently accuse Israeli troops of preventing paramedics from reaching those wounded in incursions, deadly raids inside hospitals are rare.

The last one happened on November 12, 2015, when undercover agents pretending to bring in a pregnant woman raided a hospital in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

They detained a Palestinian accused of a stabbing and killed his cousin inside Al-Ahli Hospital.

Since the October 7 attacks triggered war between Israel and Hamas, more than 370 people have been killed by Israeli troops and settlers in the West Bank, according to the health ministry in Ramallah.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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