Early Wednesday morning, an undercover Israeli special forces unit disguised as Palestinian civilians accompanying a pregnant woman inside a Hebron hospital killed one man and arrested another while holding doctors at gunpoint. The arrested man, Azzam al-Shalaldeh, 22, is reportedly suspected of attacking an Israeli weeks ago.
Security camera footage from the al-Ahli hospital published by local media shows a group of officers with faux beards and mustaches, and traditional Palestinian scarves entering the medical facility shortly before 3:oo am.
They rush past a reception desk in the surgical ward into a treatment room where Azzam al-Shalaldeh was recovering from injuries sustained during clashes with the Israeli army outside of Hebron 20 days ago. The Israeli forces then arrested Shalaldeh, during which Israeli forces shot and killed his cousin Abdullah al-Shalaldah, 27.
Palestine Today reported Israeli forces shot al-Shalaldah four times in the chest and head, with a weapon that was fixed with a silencer.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health released a statement condemning the operation inside of the medical facility, stating 21 Israeli undercover officers participated.
Immediately following the shooting the Israeli forces were filmed exiting the hospital holding handguns. Staff at al-Ahli said the identity of the woman who entered with the Israeli officers is unknown.
“A hospital should be the safest place even in times of war, yet they have penetrated the hospital, arrested someone and murdered someone in it,” the director of the al-Ahli medical complex Dr. Jihad Shawour said to Mondoweiss, describing the incursion as “an ugly and disrespectful manner to enter the hospital.”
“We are used to getting arrested in various places and we have seen this scenario playing out before,” said Shawour, making a reference to another Palestinian arrested from a hospital bed by Israeli security forces in Nablus two weeks ago on similar suspicions of attacking an Israeli, “however this is the first time there has been a murder in the hospital.”
“So now the Palestinians are being killed in the road, the mosque, the church, the school and now the hospital,” Shawour added.
Palestinian parliament member Qais Abdel Karim called the incident a “double heinous crime” and said Israeli forces had “executed” al-Shalaldah.