Police: Red Crescent ‘raid’ unrelated to terror attack
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Police: Red Crescent ‘raid’ unrelated to terror attack

Action in E. Jerusalem comes days after Israeli teen wounded in fatal shooting says Palestinian ambulance did not offer assistance

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative image of Palestinian Red Crescent workers (Nati Shohat /Flash90)
Illustrative image of Palestinian Red Crescent workers (Nati Shohat /Flash90)

Police said Wednesday they entered a Red Crescent facility in East Jerusalem a day earlier to track a group of rock-throwing teenagers.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said the action was unrelated to the recent allegations by Israel that the ambulance service failed to provide medical care to the Litman family after they were shot by terrorists outside of the Otniel settlement in the West Bank last week, Samri clarified.

Officers who entered the building worked together with the medical facility’s security staff to determine whether or not the protesters had indeed entered the hospital’s grounds, police spokeswoman

“It had absolutely no connection to the terror attack,” Samri said.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Border Police approached the Palestinian Red Crescent medical center in the Silwan neighborhood after a group of teens, who had earlier thrown rocks at law enforcement officials, fled in the direction of the building, Samri said.

Arab media sources quickly began reporting on the Israeli police presence in the hospital, but police refused at the time to discuss why officers had entered the medical center.

The officers requested to see the hospital’s security camera footage in order to find the youth who had pelted them with stones, Samri said.

Relations between the ambulance service and the Israeli government have been strained in the past week, as an audio recording of the shooting attack on the Litman family, which left a father and son dead, indicated that a Red Crescent ambulance had been on the scene, but did not provide care to the wounded.

The Red Crescent has denied the allegations against them, saying their ambulance had stopped to help the wounded, but IDF troops shooed them away before they could provide medical care.

As police would not divulge why the officers entered the Red Crescent offices, and in light of the Israeli allegations against the organization, many — including The Times of Israel — assumed there to be a connection between the reported raid and the scandal.

But this was a mere unfortunate coincidence, Samri said.

The medical service’s staff even assisted the Border Police officers in their search for the rioters, she added.

The Palestinian Red Crescent medical center could not be reached for comment.

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