Israeli forces have shot dead three Palestinians inside a hospital in the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
The killings were carried out by undercover operatives while the men were sleeping at the Ibn Sina Hospital, according to statements issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Israeli army on Tuesday.
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“This morning three young men were martyred by the bullets of the occupation [Israeli] forces who stormed the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin and shot them,” the Health Ministry in Ramallah said.
The Israeli army said its troops had “neutralised” the men, who were hiding in the hospital and belonged to a Hamas “terrorist cell”.
“A gun was found on a wanted person, which was confiscated by the forces,” the army statement added.
It reported that one of the men “had recently been involved in promoting significant terrorist activity and was hiding” in the hospital.
Hospital director Naji Nazzal told the AFP news agency that “a group of Israeli forces entered the facility undercover and assassinated the men”.
They used weapons fitted with silencers, he added.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa named the three men as Muhammad Jalamnah, Muhammad Ayman Ghazawi and Basel Ayman Ghazawi.
Security camera footage circulated online appeared to show about a dozen undercover personnel, including three in women’s clothing and two dressed as medical staff, pacing through a corridor of the hospital with assault rifles.
Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said the Israeli military has been targeting hospitals in various ways throughout the war.
“But going into a hospital as a hit squad to kill people inside the hospital has not happened since the beginning of this latest round of violence,” he said.
“They were dressed as doctors, nurses, and even civilians. This unit comprised Israeli police and army personnel. They went up to the third floor of the hospital and shot three young Palestinians dead.”
“It does not look like there was any attempt to arrest these men. They were killed as they were sleeping,” our correspondent added.
Violent clashes were reported in the area surrounding the hospital.
Hundreds of people have been killed and arrested since Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel, in which about 1,140 people were killed and some 250 taken captive.
Approximately 100 of the captives were returned to Israel under a truce deal last November in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
At least 26,637 people have been killed and 65,387 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza.
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