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2 held for firebombing buses from East J’lem hospital, having entered in wheelchairs

Police accuse the Palestinian suspects of feigning illness to gain access to Makassed Hospital, then throwing Molotov cocktails and explosive cylinders at passing vehicles

Security camera footage shows explosives being thrown at a bus passing Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem on 7 September, 2022. (Israel Police)
Security camera footage shows explosives being thrown at a bus passing Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem on 7 September, 2022. (Israel Police)

Two Palestinian men have been detained for allegedly throwing firebombs at passing buses from a hospital in East Jerusalem last month, after disguising themselves as patients to gain access to the medical center.

According to an Israel Police statement from Sunday, the two suspects — a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old from the A-Tur neighborhood — entered Makassed Hospital in wheelchairs on September 7 and then threw Molotov cocktails and gas cylinders at passing vehicles. No injuries or damage were reported.

Police later opened an investigation into the incident and arrested the suspects on September 20. With the end of the probe, prosecutors requested that the two, who have been held since, remain in custody until Thursday.

Police said the two are due to be indicted in the coming days and that an investigation was ongoing.

“The Jerusalem District Police notes that while throwing Molotov cocktails is a severe and dangerous act in itself, the act of impersonating patients and entering the hospital to harm innocent people on the premises of a hospital testifies more than anything about these violent and criminal lawbreakers,” the statement said.

The police announcement followed several clashes in East Jerusalem over the past week, while the Israel Defense Forces and police were on heightened alert amid the Jewish holiday season, with tensions already high due to an Israeli anti-terror offensive that has seen over 100 Palestinians killed and more than 2,000 arrested in nightly raids in the West Bank.

On Saturday, Fayez Damdum, 18, was shot dead by Israeli police in the West Bank town of al-Eizariya on the outskirts of East Jerusalem as he allegedly attempted to hurl Molotov cocktails. Earlier, in the adjacent town of Abu Dis, Palestinians damaged a section of the West Bank security barrier, according to footage published by Palestinian media outlets.

Israeli troops have also repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in Palestinian cities in the West Bank.

The military launched the arrest operations after a series of attacks that killed 19 people between mid-March and the beginning of May.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.

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