3 more arrested for attacking Jerusalem hospital staff after overdose patient died

Police say East Jerusalem residents turned themselves in and were detained over assault on 2 medics, damage to ICU, after they were informed of death of relative; 5 now held

Damage to the intensive care unit at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem caused by family members of a patient who died there, May 16, 2022. (Hadassah spokesperson)
Damage to the intensive care unit at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem caused by family members of a patient who died there, May 16, 2022. (Hadassah spokesperson)

Police said Saturday that they arrested three East Jerusalem residents suspected of attacking medical staff and damaging equipment at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem earlier in the week.

The attack was one of a number of recent assaults that led to hospital and clinic staff holding a 24-hour strike on Thursday to protest the rising violence.

The three were held in connection with the incident on Monday at the hospital’s Mount Scopus site, when relatives of a patient who died of an overdose attacked hospital staff and caused significant damage to hospital property upon being notified of the patient’s death.

Two members of staff were lightly injured and required medical treatment.

Police said in a statement that the three men in their 30s had turned themselves in on Saturday and were questioned before they were arrested. They are set to appear in court in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Five people have now been detained in connection with the attack — one man was arrested on the scene and a man in his 40s was detained on Friday.

Police speaking to one of the suspects under arrest over alleged involvement in an attack on medical staff in Jerusalem, May 20, 2022. (Israel Police)

Staff at public hospitals and clinics went on strike on Thursday in response to the recent rise in attacks on medical staff.

The Israel Medical Association, announcing the strike, called for a police presence in every emergency room, and said hospitals and community clinics needed improved security systems.

The association also urged a change in legislation so that an attack on medical staff would be viewed with the same severity as an attack on a uniformed police officer.

On Friday, the day after the strike, the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon said a patient attacked a doctor, breaking his glasses. A complaint was filed with the police.

A security guard is seen at the Hadassah Medical Center as medics went on strike to protest recent violent attacks on medical staff, May 19, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

In November, nurses at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center held a strike for several hours in protest of a violent incident in which staff members were beaten and threatened by the family of a dying cancer patient.

Earlier the same month, Rambam Medical Center said it had to forcibly remove dozens of people who gathered outside the facility after a victim of violence was brought there for treatment. According to hospital officials, riot police were called to the scene to prevent the crowd from entering the hospital.

And in Beersheba, four people were hurt and 19 were arrested in a massive brawl outside Soroka Medical Center that included gunfire.

In 2017, in one of the most severe cases in recent years, a man burned 55-year-old nurse Tova Kararo to death at the Holon clinic at which she worked.

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