Undercover Israeli troops dressed as civilian women and medics have stormed a hospital in the West Bank – killing three people Israel claimed were militants.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said its troops shot dead three men after entering the Ibn Sina hospital, in the northern city of Jenin, early on Tuesday.
Security camera video footage appeared to show around a dozen undercover, armed personnel wearing Muslim headscarves, hospital scrubs and white doctor’s coats.
One was seen carrying a rifle in one arm and a folded wheelchair in the other.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said the Israeli forces opened fire inside wards and said there had been no exchange of fire.
It called on the international community to step in to stop further such attacks in hospitals.
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Tuesday’s raid came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out both a military withdrawal from Gaza and the release of thousands of jailed Palestinians – two of the main demands Hamas has made for a ceasefire.
Conflicting reports of second raid
There were also conflicting reports on Tuesday about another possible raid at al Amal Hospital in Gaza’s southern Khan Younis.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said earlier that Israeli forces had stormed the grounds of the medical facility and told people to evacuate at gunpoint.
In a statement on X, the PRCS said: “displaced individuals and PRCS teams are being demanded to evacuate the building under the threat of arms”.
It later added that Israeli tanks were stationed in its “front yard” and were “firing live ammunition and smoke grenades”.
However, an Israeli military spokesperson said: “There’s no storming of the hospital, entry into it or any ordering of people to leave at gunpoint.”
‘We will not withdraw’
Speaking in the West Bank, Mr Netanyahu repeated his vow to keep fighting until “absolute victory” over Hamas and denied reports of a possible ceasefire.
“We will not withdraw the Israeli military from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists,” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior Hamas leader said a proposal for a new ceasefire in Gaza would involve three stages, including the release of hostages held by the Islamist group and Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Women, children, the elderly and the wounded would be released in the first stage, the Hamas leader said.
‘We don’t need a wider war’
The White House has said it believes an Iran-backed group was responsible. Iran has denied involvement.
Speaking as he left for a trip to Florida on Tuesday, Mr Biden replied “yes” when asked if he had decided how to respond, but did not elaborate.
However, he added: “I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East. That’s not what I’m looking for.”