Israel Raids West Bank Hospital, Kill Stabbing Suspect’s Cousin

Daring Undercover Raid on Hebron Hospital to Detain Suspect 0:47

HEBRON, West Bank — Israeli undercover forces raided a hospital in the West Bank on Thursday and fatally shot a Palestinian during an operation to detain a stabbing suspect, the Palestinian health ministry and doctors said.

The Israeli army confirmed the raid and said they had detained Abdallah Azzam al-Shalalda, 27, who was wanted in connection with the stabbing of an Israeli settler near Hebron two weeks ago.

The director of Hebron's al-Ahly hospital, Jehad Shawar, told local radio that 20-30 men had arrived at the clinic in two minivans. They entered with someone pretending to be pregnant. Surveillance footage showed them walking along a corridor.

Image: Israeli forces raid West Bank hospital
The hospital room where Israeli forces killed the cousin of a stabbing suspect in Hebron on Thursday. ABED AL HASHLAMOUN / EPA

"They held the staff at gunpoint and stormed the room of Shalalda," Shawar said.

Shalalda's brother Bilal, who was asleep alongside him, said he was tied to the bed by the Israeli forces.

His cousin, who was in the bathroom, was shot dead when he suddenly entered the room, according to Shawar.

The Israeli army said that a man who tried to attack the operatives during the raid had been shot but did not have details of his condition.

Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency issued a statement afterwards saying "it will not permit terror operatives to hide in any places of refuge."

Shalalda carried out a stabbing in Gush Etzion in the West Bank last month, the army said. After stabbing an Israeli settler, he was shot by his victim but managed to escape.

A military spokeswoman said he and his family, including the cousin, were known Hamas operatives.

Image: A Palestinian doctor shows a bullet hole at al-Ahli hospital
A Palestinian doctor shows a bullet hole at al-Ahli hospital in the West Bank town of Hebron after a man was shot dead during a raid by Israeli undercover agents on Nov. 12, 2015. HAZEM BADER / AFP - Getty Images

Israel frequently carries out undercover operations in the occupied West Bank, with special forces who speak fluent Arabic dressed as locals. There was another raid on a hospital to detain a suspect last month.

There has been a wave of violence across Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank since Oct. 1, with 12 Israelis stabbed, shot or killed in vehicle attacks by Palestinians.

Seventy-six Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli security forces, including 44 people Israeli police said were carrying out or about to carry out attacks.