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'Undercover Israeli forces' kill Palestinian man in West Bank hospital raid

Published 12/11/2015

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces in the West Bank (AP)
Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces in the West Bank (AP)

Israeli forces disguised as locals have killed a Palestinian man during a raid at a West Bank hospital, a health official said.

The Israeli military said troops shot a man at the Al-Ahli hospital in the city of Hebron while they were there to arrest a suspect in a stabbing attack.

Hospital director Jihad Shawar said more than 20 undercover Israeli troops posing as locals, including one pretending to be a woman in labour, entered the hospital overnight. They went to the surgical unit, where they stormed a room where Azzam Shalaldeh was being treated for gunshot wounds, he said.

The troops handcuffed Shalaldeh and a brother who was in the room, then shot and killed another brother, 27-year-old Abdallah Shalaldeh, as he emerged from a toilet, Mr Shawar said.

Footage said to be from a security camera 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," Mr Shawar said.

The Israeli military said forces entered the hospital to arrest 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, a spokesman said.

The military said Shalaldeh was born in 1995 and comes from a family of "known Hamas operatives".

He 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 two-month outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence shows no signs of abating. Twelve Israelis have been killed in 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 Jews and Muslims and quickly spread throughout Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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