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JENIN: Israeli commandos disguised as Palestinians killed three Palestinian in a hospital in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the Israeli police and military said. The hospital’s medical director said the three were “executed in cold blood”.

The Israeli military identified one of the Palestinians as a Hamas member who, it said, planned an “attack inspired by the Oct. 7 massacre” - a reference to Hamas’ surprise incursion into Israel that sparked the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The second Palestinian killed was a member of the Hamas-allied Islamic Jihad (IJ) and the third belonged to a group of Jenin-based group, an Israeli military statement said. Both IJ members had been involved in recent attacks, it said.

Israel’s border police said three Palestinian were killed in an operation by the force’s undercover unit in the Ibn Sina hospital in Jenin, a large town in the northern West Bank.

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CCTV circulated online appeared to show around a dozen undercover troops, including three in women’s clothing and two dressed as medical staff, pacing through a corridor of the hospital with assault rifles.

Reuters could not immediately verify the footage.

Palestinian hospital sources told Reuters the three Palestinians killed in the hospital were not armed or involved in any fighting at the time of the raid.

Hospital officials said the Israeli undercover squad broke into the medical complex, headed to the third floor and killed the three with silenced pistols.

“They executed the three men as they slept in the room. They executed them in cold blood by firing bullets directly into their heads inside the room where they were being treated,” Niji Nazzal, the hospital’s medical director, told Reuters.

Hospital sources said one of them, Basel Al-Ghazzawi, had been paralysed when he was wounded by shrapnel during a clash between Israeli forces and Palestinian in October, and was in a wheelchair.

Ghazzawi was in the hospital for treatment and his brother Mohammad was staying with him to help out, the sources said. The third man was a friend, they said.

Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkaila described the incident as a war crime and urged the United Nations and international rights groups to put an end to such actions.

Israel launched a military assault on Gaza after Hamas’ cross-border attack on Oct. 7 in which 1,200 Israelis were killed. Israel’s war in Gaza has since killed over 26,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

Israel’s offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza has sparked a surge of violence in the West Bank. Palestinians seek both territories for part of a future independent state.

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