Israeli troops in fake beards stage deadly hospital raid

A doctor examines the bloodstained aftermath of the attack in Hebron. Picture: Getty
A doctor examines the bloodstained aftermath of the attack in Hebron. Picture: Getty
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Israeli forces disguised in traditional Arab outfits, including one impersonating a pregnant woman and others appearing to have fake beards, burst into a hospital overnight, killing one man during a daring arrest raid caught on video.

The raid occurred in Hebron, a city in the southern West Bank that has been a frequent flashpoint of violence during weeks of Israel-Palestinian unrest.

Jihad Shawar, director of Al-Ahli hospital, said more than 20 undercover Israeli forces entered the hospital on Wednesday night. They went to the surgical unit, where they pulled out their guns and stormed a room where Azzam Shalaldeh was being treated for gunshot wounds, he said.

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

“This is an outright crime,” Shawar said. “No one should violate hospitals, but Israel did.” Osama Najjar, the spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry, called the incident an “assassination,” saying he believed Israel intended to kill Abdallah.

The Israeli military said troops shot a man at the hospital while they were there to arrest a suspect in a stabbing attack. It claimed the man had tried to attack the troops, but gave no further details and would not say whether undercover troops had participated.

The hospital, however, provided security camera video to The Associated Press showing about a dozen men walking down a hospital corridor, pushing someone covered in a blanket in a wheelchair. The person in the wheelchair flings the blanket off, stands up and, with the other men, draws a gun and continues walking. The men are joined by what appear to be two women, one wearing a niqab, a garment covering the face and body. The other appears to be pregnant, and has her hand on her lower back as she walks with the group of men.

Minutes later, the men, some wearing traditional Palestinian scarves and others donning what appear to be fake beards and moustaches, push a man in a wheelchair, apparently the suspect, back down the hall, as nurses look on.