Palestinian gunmen stormed a hospital in Jenin on Tuesday and seized the body of an Israeli teenager, the Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday.
The twelfth-grader, a member of Israel’s Druze community, had entered Jenin from Israel via the Gilboa Crossing, together with a second civilian, the IDF said in a statement.
“The two were involved in a car accident and were evacuated to the local hospital for medical treatment. One of the civilians was confirmed dead. The body was taken from the hospital in Jenin and is expected to be returned to Israel shortly, as a required humanitarian act. The second injured civilian was severely injured and evacuated to receive further medical attention in Israel,” according to the statement.
However, Mowafaq Tarif, the spiritual head of the Druze Israeli community, contradicted the IDF’s version of events, stating that the youth had still been alive when he was taken.
Speaking with Kan Reshet Bet on Wednesday, Tarif said that according to the teen’s father, who was at the hospital in Jenin, “After the accident he saw that his son was breathing. He was disconnected from the equipment and kidnapped while still alive. They took him while firing shots in the air. It was a very difficult scene.”
Adi Faru, the teen’s uncle, told Kan Reshet Bet, “We saw them. They were armed. They came like [they did during] the intifada. They entered—20 to 30 of them—the hospital, they fired outside in the air. If we had not complied, they’d have kidnapped us too.”
The teen had entered Jenin to get his car repaired, said Faru. According to the uncle, the youth survived surgery at the Jenin hospital, but died soon afterwards from his injuries.