Israeli commandos kill three militants in hospital raid

In an undercover operation, Israeli forces stormed a hospital in the West Bank and shot dead three Palestinian militants.

Three Palestinian militants, including one who was paralysed and bedridden, were shot dead by Israeli commandos who infiltrated a hospital in the West Bank on Tuesday, according to witnesses and officials.

The Israeli military said it carried out a covert operation with the army, Shin Bet security service and border police to eliminate the three militants at the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin, a city known for its unrest in the West Bank.

It named one of the men as Mohammad Walid Jalamna, a Hamas member who, it said, was plotting an attack following the Hamas-led incursion into Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, and said a handgun was found.

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

The Palestinian health ministry verified the deaths and urged the United Nations to ensure the safety of health facilities. “The occupation is perpetrating a new slaughter inside hospitals,” it said in a statement.

CCTV footage from the hospital showed a group of around 10 people, wearing a mix of civilian and medical attire and including three in headscarves and women’s clothing, walking through a hallway, armed with assault rifles and entering the hospital.

The hospital’s director, Dr. Naji Nazzal said the Israeli team arrived at the hospital at around 5.30 a.m. (0330 GMT) and sneaked to the third floor, ringing the bell to access the ward where the men were sleeping.

“They killed the three men as they slept in the room,” he told Reuters. “They killed 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 with a bullet hole remained on a bed, while a folding bed nearby was also stained with blood, apparently from a headshot.

Nazzal said Basil Ayman Al-Ghazzawi had been undergoing treatment since Oct. 25 for a spinal injury which had paralysed him.

The Islamic Jihad militant group, backed by Iran, said the Al-Ghazzawi brothers were members of its armed wing, while Hamas confirmed that Jalamna was part of its Al Qassam Brigade.

The Israeli military said the three were hiding in the hospital and said it was “another example of the cynical use of civilian areas and hospitals as shelters and human shields by terrorist organisations”. Hamas has denied such claims.

The early morning operation was the latest in a series of events in the West Bank, which has experienced a surge of violence since the Hamas-led assault on Israel on Oct. 7 and the subsequent invasion of Gaza by Israel.

Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank, has seen some of the biggest confrontations, with frequent Israeli attacks on the crowded Palestinian refugee camp next to the city.

Thousands of mourners flooded the streets of the camp during the day as the three men killed in the operation were laid to rest.

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