By Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Press Release, 12 November 2015
In view of the continuing international policy of silence over grave crimes and violations committed by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), on Thursday dawn, 12 November 2015, Israeli forces committed a cold-blooded crime at al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, as a group of Israeli undercover agents „Mosta’rebeen“, who are well-known for carrying out dozens of extra-judicial executions following the al-Aqsa Intifada. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) stresses that the Israeli forces‘ attack on the aforementioned hospital constitutes a flagrant violation of article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which provides, „Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict“. Moreover, PCHR highlights that not holding the perpetrators accountable by the international community has made Israel above the law.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 02:43 on Thursday, 12 November 2015, a group of Israeli undercover agents serving in the Israeli forces raided al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron. The group of 21 undercover agents included 2 dressed in women’s clothes, one on a wheelchair, and the remaining others put fake beards and the Palestinian Kufiya around their necks. Three of whom were standing at the hospital’s doorway and told the hospital officers and medical crews not to move. In the meantime, other undercover agents went upstairs to the Operations Section on the third floor and detained the medical staff. At approximately 02:45, 5 agents, including the 2 who were in women’s clothes, raided a room. Soon after, 4 gunshots were heard. The undercover agents then went out taking Azzam Ezzat Sha’ban Shalalda (20), from Sa’ir village, east of Hebron, on a wheelchair. Once they left the hospital, the medical staff entered the room and found Abdullah Azzam Sha’ban Shalalda (28) dead. Following preliminary examination of the corpse, it was found out that Abdullah sustained 3 live bullet wounds to the left side of the head, chest, and right arm. At approximately 04:52, the undercover agents withdrew taking Azzam with them. They were seen taking 2 covered pickup trucks with Palestinian registration plates
It should be mentioned that ‚Azzam Shalalda wounded on 25 October 2015 due to being hit with seven bullets by a settler. The Israeli forces claimed then that he attempted to stab an Israeli settler after throwing stones at the settler’s car and breaking its windshield.
PCHR strongly condemns raiding the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron and killing ‚Abdullah Shalalda proving Israel’s disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians in addition to arresting ‚Azzam Shalada, who is wounded and under medical treatment.
Thus, PCHR reiterates its call upon the international community to take immediate and effective actions to put an end to the Israeli crimes and reiterates its call for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and their obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These grave breaches constitute war crimes under Article 147 of the same Convention and Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions.