Israeli police officers stormed a hospital in east Jerusalem and prevented staff from giving medication to a wounded man who later died from his injuries, an Israeli human rights organisation has claimed.

B'T Selem released CCTV footage showing what appear to be dozens of armed police officers in the al-Makassed hospital compound on 21 July.

The organisation claimed officers stormed the hospital, clashing with staff and youths who tried to prevent them from entering the building, to arrest a Palestinian man who had been wounded by gunfire earlier that day.

Officers used "stun grenades and sponge-round fire" to force their way into the compound and were accused of trying to forcefully seize the bed that 20-year-old Muhammad Abu Ghanam was lying on.

Doctors tried to push Ghanam's bed into a lift to take him to an operating room on the second floor, but were prevented by the police, who allegedly assaulted a number of people including two nurses, a volunteer nurse and a doctor.

One doctor noticed that the patient's condition was deteriorating and took him into an X-ray room near the lift where medics tried to resuscitate him. However, Ghanam was declared dead shortly after.

Officers were accused of storming several areas of the hospital, including two blood bank rooms and a maternity ward.

"The Israeli security force violated the fundamental human principle, which is also enshrined in international law, that medical facilities are protected areas dedicated to caring for the sick and wounded," B'T Selem said.

The group added it was not the first time that Israeli security forces had entered the hospital seeking to arrest Palestinian patients and said a similar incident had occurred the previous week.

In a statement sent to rights group Amnesty International in July, the head of the hospital, Dr Rafiq Husseini, said police officers "terrorised staff and patients and were acting in an aggressive manner."

Amnesty condemned the hospital raid, deeming it as "utterly deplorable."

A spokesperson for the police told IBTimes UK: "Police units entered the hospital and searched for suspect[s] involved in riots in Jerusalem and attacked police officers after Friday prayers in then old city.

"As part of the investigation, police searched areas to find the suspects. When entering the area police were attacked by local residents, who threw concrete blocks from the roof at officers.

"No Israeli Arabs were prevented [from] receiving medical treatment. The claims by B'T Selem are once again inaccurate and misleading," the spokesperson concluded.

East Jerusalem clashes

Ghanam was wounded during clashes with police in east Jerusalem, which witnessed weeks of violence due to new security measures implemented at a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Violence erupted in July after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at a shrine at the holy site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, after two police officers were shot dead by Israeli-Arab gunmen.

The area is home to the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock and it is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.

The presence of metal detectors – which were later removed – triggered protests from Palestinians, who saw it s a punitive measure.

On 21 July, Muslims held a prayer outside the al-Aqsa compound, after which Palestinian youths clashed with the police forces.

Ghanam was wounded during clashes with four Border Police officers who, according to B'T Selem, "stood by for 5-10 minutes without offering him medical assistance."

The officers were also accused of preventing a Red Crescent ambulance from taking the injured man to the hospital.

"The medics got out of the ambulance to tend to Abu Ghanam, and managed to get him into the ambulance and drive away despite attempts by the police to prevent them. The injured Abu Ghanam arrived at al-Makassed hospital at approximately 3:40, at which point the hospital was raided," the organisation said.

"The doctors found that he had been hit in the chest by a live bullet that entered his spine. Abu Ghanam was pronounced dead some 15-20 minutes after arriving at the hospital."

Jerusalem al-aqsa mosque temple mount
Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian man following clashes outside Jerusalem's Old City Ammar Awad/Reuters