Terrorist arrested in Hebron hospital bed, cousin killed in raid

Azzam Shalaldeh stabbed and moderately wounded Israeli in Gush Etzion last month and managed to escape despite being shot; his cousin was shot trying to fight off Israeli troops.

Israeli security forces arrested a terrorist in his hospital bed in Hebron on Wednesday night, shooting and killing his cousin in the raid.



Azzam Shalaldeh, 20, stabbed and moderately wounded 58-years-old Israel Ben-Aharon near the settlement of Metzad in the West Bank last month, and managed to escape despite being shot by his victim. 


Israeli troops arrest Azzam Shalaldeh

Israeli troops arrest Azzam Shalaldeh


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Shalaldeh was being treated at the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron, where he was arrested in a joint operation of the Shin Bet, the Border Police's counterterrorism unit and the IDF.


The director of the hospital, Jehad Shawar, told Palestine radio that 20-30 men had arrived at the clinic in two mini vans at around three o'clock in the morning. They entered with someone pretending to be pregnant.


CCTV footage from inside the hospital showed a large group of men armed with pistols and rifles, some with beards and others with keffiyeh scarves on their heads, walking through the corridors telling hospital workers to get out of the way.


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


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


Hospital bed from which Azzam Shalaldeh was arrested
Hospital bed from which Azzam Shalaldeh was arrested


The IDF said Shalaldeh's 28-year-old cousin, Abdullah Shalaldeh, attacked the forces and was shot dead.


Shawar, however, claimed the cousin, who was in the bathroom, was shot dead when he suddenly entered the room. "As (Abdullah) exited the bathroom, which was inside the room, they fired five bullets, one bullet in the head, one in the chest and three in his body," Shawar told the radio station. 


"They took (Azzam) and placed him in the wheelchair they brought the woman in and they exited the room preventing anyone from giving medical aid to the young man laid on the floor."


Shawar claimed that he did not know the person he was treating was a terrorist. "No one told me this was a wanted man. All I knew was that he was wounded during an olive harvest, that's what they told us," he said.


"This is an outright crime. This is against international law. No one should violate hospitals, but Israel did," Shawar said.


The Shalaldeh family, that came to collect Abdullah's body, claimed Israel had executed him, but admitted that he tried to fight the soldiers after realizing they were trying to arrest his cousin. The IDF is preparing for riots during Shalaldeh's funeral.


Terrorist arrested in Hebron hospital
Terrorist arrested in Hebron hospital


Palestinian Health Minister Jawad Awad accused Israeli security forces of "executing" Abdallah al-Shalaldeh, who he said was escorting a relative inside the hospital.


"The international community must intervene to protect our people from the Israeli killing machine," he said.


The Shin Bet later issued a statement saying "it will not permit terror operatives to hide in any places of refuge."


Shalaldeh is from a family of Hamas militants north of Hebron. He was transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning.


Abdullah Shalaldeh killed during his cousin's arrest
Abdullah Shalaldeh killed during his cousin's arrest


Shalaldeh's brother, Bilal, told Reuters TV: "As soon they entered the room they tied me to the bed. (My cousin) was inside the bathroom and wanted to wash for prayer. As he was exiting the bathroom, one of the under cover men shouted at him to stop and they opened fire.


"He remained on the ground bleeding and they hit my brother on his head and took him away."


The IDF and police assumed he had fled to the village of Si'ir and during their searches there an IDF soldier was lightly wounded by rocks thrown at the forces there.


Israel Ben-Aharon, who was wounded in the attack.
Israel Ben-Aharon, who was wounded in the attack.


Israel Ben-Aharon, who was wounded in the attack, said he was not surprised of the arrest. "I saw the video of how he (Azzam) was being treated after the attack, so I thought it was just a matter of time before they picked him up," he said. 


"This just proves that we shouldn't kill terrorists, only badly wound them. This way he will not return to terror activities, and he will 'sing' for Shin bet interrogators," Ben-Aharon added. 


Reuters contributed to this report.




פרסום ראשון: 11.12.15, 07:55
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