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Undercover Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian in Hebron hospital

Nov. 12, 2015 9:45 A.M. (Updated: April 19, 2016 3:33 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Undercover Israeli forces on Thursday shot dead a Palestinian during a hospital raid in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, witnesses and hospital staff said.

Abdullah Azzam Shalaldah, 28, was shot several times by forces who raided the surgery unit of al-Ahli hospital in order to detain his cousin, Azzam Ezzat Shalaldah, 20, who was shot by an Israeli settler last month, hospital staff told Ma’an.

Abdullah and another relative were in the hospital visiting Azzam when around 20 undercover Israeli soldiers entered the hospital at around 4:00 a.m., witnesses said.

The forces tied up the relative while Abdullah, who was in the bathroom at the time, entered the room and was shot dead on scene.

The undercover forces then retreated from the hospital with Azzam, taking him into custody, witnesses added.

Video footage from security cameras shows a group of around 16 men walking through the corridors of the hospital just before 4 a.m. pushing a wheel chair, when suddenly the man sitting down removes his blanket, stands up, and all the men draw guns and proceed down the hall.

The footage also shows what appears to be an Israeli agent dressed as a Palestinian woman, and other Israeli forces dressed as Palestinian Muslim men, wearing keffiyehs and appearing to have fake beards.

An Israeli army spokesperson was unable to comment on the presence of undercover forces during the raid, while Israeli media reported that the forces arrived in two large vans with someone pretending to be pregnant.

The army spokesperson told Ma’an that a combined force of Israeli army and police members had entered the hospital in order to detain Azzam, when an “additional suspect attacked the forces.”

The forces responded with live fire, killing the man, the spokesperson confirmed.

The spokesperson said that the forces detained Azzam on the grounds that he “stabbed an Israeli in the chest in Gush Etzion” on Oct. 25, wounding him severely, adding that "the victim shot him" as he fled the scene.

The spokesperson added that the "Shalaldah family are known Hamas operatives.”

Palestinian security sources told Ma’an on Oct. 25 following the attack that Azzam was shot by an Israeli settler.

A spokesperson for Hadassah hospital said at the time that the settler, 58, had received a light "stab" wound to his chest, and had possibly been hit with a stone in his head.

Palestinian witnesses told Ma'an that they believed that the alleged Palestinian attacker had fled the scene unharmed and that Azzam had been working in agricultural fields when he was shot.

Abdullah, from the Hebron-area village of Sair, was the 80th Palestinian to be killed since Oct. 1.

The majority of those killed were shot dead by Israeli forces during alleged, attempted, and actual attacks on Israeli military and civilians.

Ten Israelis have been killed by individual Palestinians during the same time period.

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