Physicians for Human Rights condemned the actions of the Israeli Army who raided a hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus on Sunday. The organization stated that in keeping with the norms of international law on the conduct of war, “Hospitals and hospital staff must be excluded from all military operations.”

According to Palestinians witnesses the soldiers arrived at the hospital to arrest a fugitive hospitalized there since incurring wounds in an earlier Army operation and caused a great deal of damage to hospital property while searching for the suspect, but failed to arrest him.

The soldiers hurled stun grenades and tear gas as they stormed the hospital, and once inside, gathered the doctors and nurses together on the same floor, interrupting their work. Palestinian witnesses and hospital personnel also stated that the soldiers destroyed equipment, severely damage property .

Palestinians gathered outside the hospital when the raid began in an attempt to stop the soldiers from entering the hospital. Five people were wounded, Palestinian doctors said, including three hurt by grenades and tear gas, one hit by an IDF jeep, and a fifth hit by Palestinian gunmen who opened fired on the troops.

The troops left the hospital after two hours without arresting anyone, the Army said, without providing further details. The apparent target of the operation was a 20-year-old Ahmed Sanakra from the Balata refugee camp, wounded in an IDF raid two weeks ago. Members of his militant faction said he was spirited out of the hospital just before the Israeli troops arrived. Sankara had undergone an operation at the hospital earlier Sunday.

Palestinians reported that more than 20 jeeps arrived at the hospital, from three different directions, to arrest Sanakra. However, the suspect’s friends heard that Israeli forces were approaching and as soon as the surgery was completed, he was removed from the hospital and taken to a secret location. Soldiers arrived at the hospital shortly after Sanakra’s escape, and they began searching for him in the rooms and hallways of the hospital, destroying equipment and causing severe damage during the search.

When the troops left the hospital, Palestinians waiting outside the building threw stones at them. Scuffles broke out and two Palestinians were lightly wounded.