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UN experts: Israeli killings in West Bank hospital may be war crimes

A group of United Nations special rapporteurs say the assassination of three young Palestinians inside a West Bank hospital by a unit of undercover Israeli special forces may amount to grave violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law.

“Under international humanitarian law, killing a defenseless injured patient who is being treated in a hospital amounts to a war crime,” the UN experts said in a statement, referring to Basel al-Ghazzawi, a patient being treated for injuries it said were caused by an Israeli airstrike.

“By disguising themselves as seemingly harmless, protected medical personnel and civilians, the Israeli forces also prima facie committed the war crime of perfidy, which is prohibited in all circumstances,” they continued.

The experts urged Israel to conduct an effective investigation in line with international law to prosecute and punish those responsible for committing, ordering, and assisting in the crimes.

Israel should put in place procedures to prevent future arbitrary killings and provide reparations to the victims, they said.

The experts emphasized the international community’s long-standing concern over Israel’s culture of impunity regarding international law violations by its personnel.

Hospital massacre: Undercover Israeli forces kill three Palestinians at West Bank center

Hospital massacre: Undercover Israeli forces kill three Palestinians at West Bank center

A unit of undercover Israeli special forces fatally shoot three young Palestinians at a hospital in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

In the absence of a prompt investigation into the killings, the experts would urge an investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

They said the killings occurred amidst an alarming rise in the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in apparent violation of their right to life in the West Bank since the Tel Aviv regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7.

On January 29, around 10 armed members of the Israeli army, the so-called Shin Bet security service, and border police infiltrated the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin and killed three Palestinian men.

They were captured on CCTV taking a wheelchair and a doll in a baby carrier into the hospital.

After entering a rehabilitation ward, the Israeli forces shot dead Basel Ayman al-Ghazawi, a patient being treated for severe injuries from an Israeli airstrike three months earlier, along with his brother, Muhammad Ayman Al-Ghazawi, and another visitor Muhammed Walid Jalamna.

Israel’s military claimed that one of the men killed in the hospital was a member of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, and the others worked for Jenin Brigade and the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad movement.

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