This grab taken from UGC video released on social media on January 30, 2024 shows CCTV footage displayed on a computer screen reportedly of a deadly raid by undercover Israeli troops at the Ibn Sina hospital in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai:  Around 5.30am on Tuesday, more than 10 Israeli commandos disguised as medical staff and civilian women in headscarves, raided the Ibn Sina Hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin and killed three Palestinians.

Armed with advanced weaponry and using tactics to blend in, the agents moved through the corridors, even patting down individuals.

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The squad then stormed a room on the third floor, rang the bell to enter the ward where the men were sleeping, shot and killed three Palestinians in their beds using guns with silencers.

The undercover agents escaped the building unscathed after a 10-minute operation.

The Palestinian media published the dramatic CCTV footage of the raid.

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Videos circulated on social media showed what appeared to be the Israeli raiding party retreating from the hospital.

The undercover agents carried assault weapons, moving through the hospital wearing a variety of disguises, including medical scrubs and civilian clothes.

One armed man wore a face mask and carried a wheelchair. Another appeared to search a person who was kneeling on the floor. At least three were dressed in women’s clothes, the video shows. The time stamp on the footage read 5:43am.

Hamas claimed one of the deceased was a member of their group, while Islamic Jihad stated that the other two killed were brothers belonging to their organisation.

Palestinian sources said the three were not engaged in any fighting. They said one, Basel Al Ghazzawi, was wheelchair-bound after being wounded in his back this month, and was in the hospital for treatment.

His brother Mohammad was staying there to help him, and the third man was a friend, the sources said.

Image Credit: AP

“They executed the three men as they slept in the cold blood, by firing bullets directly into their heads inside the room, where they were being treated,” hospital director Najy Nazzal said.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila called the incident a war crime and urged the United Nations and international rights groups to put an end to such actions.

After the killings, the Palestinian health ministry stressed healthcare facilities are granted special protection under international law.

Last such incident occured in 2015

“The minister of health calls urgently on the United Nations General Assembly, international institutions and human rights organisations to end the daily string of crimes committed by the occupation (Israel) against our people and health centres,” a ministry statement said.

After the killings, the Palestinian health ministry emphasized that healthcare facilities are granted special protection under international law.

The operation took place in the hospital’s rehabilitation ward, where Basel Ghazawi was undergoing treatment. While Palestinians often accuse Israeli troops of impeding paramedics during incursions, deadly raids inside hospitals are rare.

Image Credit: AFP

The last such incident occurred on November 12, 2015, when undercover agents raided a hospital in Hebron, detaining a Palestinian and killing his cousin.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel withdrew troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but imposed a stifling blockade on the territory, along with Egypt, when Hamas came to power in a violent takeover in 2007. It maintains an open-ended occupation of the West Bank, where more than half a million Israelis now live in settlements.

The Palestinians claim these territories as part of their future independent state, hopes for which have increasingly dimmed since the war began.
-- with inputs from Reuters