4 hurt, 19 arrested in mass armed brawl at Beersheba hospital

Gunfire heard in fight between families outside Soroka Medical Center; some of the injured are from nearby Bedouin city of Rahat

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Four people were injured during a massive brawl between a pair of families outside of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba on Sunday evening, with sounds of gunfire heard according to witnesses and footage from the scene.

Two of the injured men — who were stabbed — were being treated at the hospital with mild injuries. The pair are from the nearby Bedouin city of Rahat, according to police.

Another two were being treated for mild blunt trauma injuries, the hospital said.

Eyewitnesses at the scene said dozens of young men were fighting and hurling stones, as bursts of gunfire echoed throughout the area.

A law enforcement official confirmed that a handgun was likely used during the brawl, citing a preliminary investigation.

Officers attempting to restore order outside the hospital arrested 19 suspects, police said.

Glass windows at the entrance of the hospital were apparently damaged during the brawl, but it was not clear if it was from the gunfire or something else.

Damaged windows are seen at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 14, 2021. (Courtesy)

The Magen David Adom ambulance service called upon its medics to leave the hospital’s ER as quickly as possible, amid the gunfire, and as the hospital closed its gates.

An hour later, police announced that “order had been restored,” and the hospital had reopened.

“We condemn and are concerned over this severe violence that has taken place in the medical center,” Dr. Shlomi Kadosh, the director of Soroka said in a statement after the incident.

“This crosses a red line and we demand that vigorous actions are taken to maintain peace on the hospital grounds and for its staff,” he added.

No staff members were hurt in the brawl, the hospital said.

View of the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, on August 5, 2021. (Emanuel Fabian/Times of Israel)

Police said officers were at the scene investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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