MSF, Amnesty Intl. condemn deadly Israeli raid on Palestinian hospital
The international medical charity, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), has condemned a deadly raid by Israeli undercover agents to arrest a hospitalized Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
The condemnation on Thursday came after a group of 21 agents attacked al-Ahli hospital to capture Azzam Ezzat Shalaldeh, 20, who had been shot by an Israeli settler last month, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
During the attack, the Israeli agents also shot and killed Shalaldeh’s cousin Abdallah Azzam Shalaldeh, also in his 20s, claiming that he had tried to attack them. However, his relatives say that the victim was coming out of the bathroom unaware of what had been taking place.
In a statement released on Thursday, the medical charity called on “the relevant military authorities to respect the special status that [the international humanitarian law] grants to medical facilities and the wounded and sick.”
MSF denounced the way in which Shalaldeh was detained as “serious” and contrary “to the principles of neutrality and respect of the medical mission.”
International law “demands that sick and wounded people be treated without any discrimination in conformity with medical ethics,” the statement added.
Pointing to the killing of Shalaldeh’s cousin during the raid, MSF said relevant authorities must inform and train members of the armed forces to respect medical facilities and personnel as well as patients and their caretakers so that other incidents of this kind will be prevented in the future.
The charity also expressed concern about the fate of Shalaldeh who was still in recovery room after undergoing three surgeries at the hospital.
Amnesty International, in a separate statement, also slammed the murder of Shalaldeh’s cousin, saying the fact that he was shot in the head and upper body “suggests this was an extrajudicial execution.”
The Israeli agents made their way into the hospital under the guise of the relatives of a pregnant woman, and went inside the room where the injured Palestinian was resting.
A few minutes later, according to what is seen in footage from the hospital, the armed agents left with someone in the wheelchair, apparently the hospitalized Palestinian.
“They banned the medical team from moving and they took control of the surgery department, went to Shalaldeh’s room and banned anyone from entering,” the hospital director, Dr. Jihad Shawar, said, adding, “When they left, the man (Shalaldeh’s cousin) was found bleeding and (staff) tried to save his life, but he died.”
The deadly raid comes as tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories have dramatically escalated since the Israeli regime’s imposition of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in August.