23-year-old construction worker falls to his death in central Israel

23-year-old construction worker falls to his death in central Israel

Samir Karamawi is the second laborer killed in construction site accidents this week, and the 42nd since the start of the year

Illustrative photo of managers at a construction site (milanvirijevic, iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative photo of managers at a construction site (milanvirijevic, iStock by Getty Images)

A 23-year-old laborer was killed Thursday at a construction site in the central Israeli city of Yehud, becoming the second worker killed this week amid ongoing criticism of lax safety standards in the industry.

The deceased was identified as Samir Karamawi from the northern Arab town of Kafr Qara, near Haifa.

Police have launched an investigation.

According to the Haaretz daily, Karamawi’s death is the 42nd of a construction worker since the start of the year.

A paramedic, Moshe Gelbstein, told the newspaper that Karamawi had fallen several meters to the ground, and was without vital signs when rescuers arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A construction site in the central Israeli city of Yehud, where a laborer was killed on the job on November 7, 2019. (Courtesy United Hatzalah)

A construction worker was killed Monday at a work site in Beit Shemesh, a city southwest of Jerusalem. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said the Palestinian man, later identified as 50-year-old Sharif Abdullah al-Tarada from the West Bank town of Tapuah, sustained serious head injuries after falling several stories from a building. MDA said paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

Deaths of construction workers in Israel are a near-weekly occurrence, largely because of poorly enforced safety codes, according to critics.

Last week, one construction worker was killed and two were injured in various building accidents throughout the country.

In June, figures released under Freedom of Information laws showed that police have opened criminal investigations in only 25 percent of job site accidents that led to deaths or severe injuries of workers in 2016-2018.

Illustrative: A construction worker on a rooftop at a construction site in downtown Jerusalem on August 5, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Responding to the rise in worksite accidents in recent years, police established a special unit called Peles at the end of 2018 — under the aegis of its serious crimes unit Lahav 433 — that specializes in accident investigation.

However, Haaretz reported in June that the unit had only opened investigations into three of the 38 deadly work accidents that occurred in the first five months of 2019.

Police said in a statement that the unit was not meant to investigate every accident, but only those “with unique attributes, like complex accidents involving infrastructure collapse, or the sort that require expertise and resources.” Other accidents were investigated by regular police units.

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