VIDEO: Israeli police fight medics over bed of dying Palestinian
More than a dozen Israeli police apparently prevented an injured Palestinian teenager receiving treatment in hospital during violent clashes over Israeli control of Jerusalem's holiest site, video footage has revealed.
The footage released on Monday by the rights group B'Tselem shows a line of Israeli police clashing with medics as they try to wheel Mohamed Abu Ganem into the operating theatre at al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem.
The 19-year-old had been shot by an Israeli settler in the Palestinian district of Tur during clashes over Al-Aqsa mosque on 21 July. He died of his wounds before he could be operated on.
But the video suggests that Israeli police prevented his emergency treatment. Witness accounts compiled by B'Tselem claimed the officers had "tried to seize [Ganem's] bed, assaulting members of the medical crew, including two male nurses, a volunteer female nurse and a doctor, and others as well".
After he died, Ganem's relatives wrapped his body in funeral robes and moved it out of the hospital over a wall, in a frantic bid to stop it falling into the hands of Israeli authorities.
The footage obtained by B'Tselem showed Israeli police officers clad in riot gear smashing up al-Makassed's emergency room, operating room, blood bank and maternity ward, as they searched for protesters injured during clashes.
Israeli police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at hospital guards who attempted to stop them from entering the medical facility.
B'Tselem condemned the raid on al-Makassed as "indefensible".
"This is not the first time that police have raided al-Makassed to arrest wounded individuals, and such incidents have been previously reported," it said.
"Words fail to convey the gravity of the police’s conduct inside the hospital. This unreasonable, violent and life-threatening conduct on the part of the security forces is indefensible.
B'Tselem added that the conduct of the police officers was "part of a much larger picture, one in which Israeli authorities repeatedly show the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem just... how cheap their lives are".
The Makassed Charitable Islamic Society, which runs the medical facility, called on the international community to offer it protection.
Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch's Israel and Palestine director, was blocked by the Israeli police from entering al-Makassed hospital.
Israel has now backed down on the proposed security measures at Islam's third holiest site after days of protests inside East Jerusalem and the West Bank.