On Thursday, undercover forces of Israel raided a hospital in the West Bank, killing a Palestinian in the process. The Israeli forces were attempting to detain another man who is suspected of committing a stabbing attack.
Both the raid and subsequent shooting has been confirmed by the Israeli army. Reports indicate that the purpose of the raid was to try and detain Palestinian Azzam al-Shalalda, who is believed to have stabbed Israelis at a shelter about two weeks ago.
The raid was conducted at Hebron’s al-Ahly Hospital in the West Bank. According to the hospital’s director, Jehad Shawar, somewhere between 20 and 30 men arrived in two minivans at approximately 3 am. They entered with a woman in a wheelchair who was pretending that she was pregnant.
Closed-circuit television footage from the hospital showed that the men were armed with pistols and rifles. They started holding the hospital staff at gunpoint, threatening them not to interfere. The men quickly stormed Shalalda’s room.
Shalalda’s brother Bilal was asleep in the room at the time, and he was tied to the bed. Then, Shalalda’s cousin Abdallah was shot and killed when he ran into the room to see what the commotion was about.
The men proceeded to put Shalalda in a wheelchair and then exited the room. Meanwhile, they also threatened anyone who tried to help the dying Abdallah. The forces were then able to escape the hospital. It is unknown what happened to Shalalda or if he is still alive.
The Palestinian Health Minister Jawad Awad has expressed his outrage over the attack. "The international community must intervene to protect our people from the Israeli killing machine," he said.
Last month, Shalalda carried out a stabbing attack in Gush Etzion in the West Bank. Shalalda was shot in the process, but he managed to escape alive.
Officials have confirmed that both Shalalda and his cousin Abdallah were members of the militant Islamist group known as the Hamas. Such attacks by undercover Israeli forces are relatively commonplace. A similar raid at another hospital took place just last month.
Since the start of October, nearly 100 Israelis and Palestinians have been killed or injured as a result of the most recent wave of violence in the West Bank. Much of the violence has been caused by disputes over access to holy sites in the city of Jerusalem.