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Without providing evidence, the Israeli military claims the militants were using the hospital as a hideout.
Israeli forces disguised as civilian women and medical workers stormed a hospital Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, killing three Palestinian militants in a dramatic raid that underscored how deadly violence has spilled into the territory from the war in Gaza.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces opened fire inside the wards of the Ibn Sina Hospital in the town of Jenin. The ministry condemned the raid and called on the international community to pressure Israel's military to halt such operations in hospitals. A hospital spokesperson said there was no exchange of fire, indicating that it was a targeted killing.
The military said the militants were using the hospital as a hideout, without providing evidence. It alleged that one of those targeted in the raid had transferred weapons and ammunition to others for a planned attack, purportedly inspired by the Hamas assault on southern Israel on Oct. 7 that triggered the war in Gaza.
Footage said to be security camera video from the hospital that circulated on social media showed about a dozen undercover forces, most of them armed, dressed as women with Muslim headscarves or hospital staff in scrubs or white doctor’s coats. One in a surgical mask carried a rifle in one arm and a folded wheelchair in the other. The forces were seen patting down one man who kneeled against a wall, his arms raised.
The Associated Press has not independently verified the footage, but it is in line with its reporting.
Meanwhile, fighting continued in the Gaza Strip, even as talks inched forward on a cease-fire to pause the war, which began when hundreds of Hamas-led militants stormed into Israel, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting about 250 others.
In response, Israel launched a blistering air, sea and ground offensive that killed more than 26,700 people in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run territory. The ministry count does not distinguish between fighters and noncombatants, but it says about two-thirds of the dead are women and minors.
The conflict has also leveled vast swaths of the tiny coastal enclave, displaced 85% of its population, and pushed a quarter of residents to starvation. That humanitarian crisis may soon be exacerbated, the U.N. has warned, after several countries froze funding to the main aid provider to Palestinians in Gaza following Israeli claims that a dozen of its workers participated in the Oct. 7 assault.
The IDF raided the hospital after it said it received intelligence that hostages kidnapped on Oct. 7 were previously held there.
As fighting continues in Gaza, U.N. relief workers say conditions are too unsafe to deliver lifesaving aid to residents.
The U.N. found that 1 in 6 children are acutely malnourished in the area where the evacuation orders are taking place.
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