Israeli forces in disguise kill 3 Palestinian militants during raid on West Bank hospital By Reuters

©Reuters. Mourners react next to the body of a Palestinian killed following an Israeli raid, at a hospital in Jenin, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, January 30, 2024. REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta

By Raneen Sawafta

JENIN, West Bank (Reuters) – Israeli commandos disguised as health workers and Muslim women stormed a hospital in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday and killed three Palestinian militants, one of whom lay paralyzed in bed, witnesses and authorities said.

The Israeli military said the three militants were killed in a joint undercover operation by the army, the Shin Bet security service and the border police at the Ibn Sina hospital (BitStamp:) in Jenin, one of the cities more unstable than the West Bank.

The army identified one of the men as Mohammad Walid Jalamna, a Hamas member who was reportedly planning an attack inspired by the Hamas-led rampage across the Gaza border into Israel on October 7. A gun was recovered, troopers said.

The military said the other two, brothers Basel Al-Ghazzawi and Mohammad Al-Ghazzawi, belonged to the Jenin Brigade and the armed wing of Islamic Jihad.

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the deaths and called on the United Nations to ensure the protection of health centers. “The occupation is committing a new massacre in hospitals,” we read in a statement.

CCTV footage from the hospital showed a group of around 10 people, variously dressed in civilian clothes and medical suits and including three wearing scarves and women’s clothes, walking back and forth along a corridor, armed with rifles. ‘assault.

“We don’t want to turn hospitals into battlefields, with patients on the right, doctors and nurses on the left, and terrorists in the middle,” Israeli military chief Herzi Halevi told troops near Gaza.

“But we are even more determined not to allow the hospitals in Gaza, in Judea and Samaria, in Lebanon, above ground or in tunnel shafts and in tunnels under hospitals, to become a place that serves as a cover for terrorism,” he said, using the Hebrew biblical term. deadline for the West Bank.

Hospital director Dr. Naji Nazzal said the Israeli team entered the hospital around 5:30 a.m. (0330 GMT) and stealthily headed to the third floor, ringing the bell to enter the ward where the men slept.

“They executed the three men while they were sleeping in the room,” he told Reuters. “They executed them in cold blood by shooting bullets directly into their heads in the room where they were being treated.”

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

Nazzal said Basil Ayman Al-Ghazzawi had been receiving treatment since October 25 for a spinal injury that had paralyzed him.

The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad militant group said the Al-Ghazzawi brothers were members of its armed wing, while Hamas confirmed that Jalamna belonged to its Al Qassam brigade.

The Israeli army said the three were hiding in the hospital and that it was “another example of the cynical use of civilian areas and hospitals as shelters and human shields by terrorist organizations.” Hamas has denied these accusations.

The dramatic operation which took place in the early hours of the morning was the latest in a series of incidents in the West Bank, which has seen an explosion of violence following the Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza. of Israel. .

Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank, has witnessed some of the largest clashes, with repeated Israeli attacks on the densely packed Palestinian refugee camp adjacent to the city.

Thousands of mourners poured into the streets of the camp during the day as the three men killed in the raid were buried.

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