Family members of a patient who died at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem on Monday attacked medical staff and caused significant damage to the intensive care unit after they were informed of his death.
Police said they were called earlier to the hospital’s Mount Scopus site, where they arrested an East Jerusalem resident in his twenties on suspicion of being involved in the violent clash at the medical center. Hebrew media reports said the suspect is from the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood of the capital.
An initial investigation found the patient died after taking an overdose, police said, without giving further details.
Relatives of the man arrived at the hospital and were notified of the patient’s death.
After they were given the news, a number of the patient’s relatives broke doors and windows in the unit, damaged the nurse’s station, computers, and equipment, and attacked staff.
Two members of staff were lightly injured and required medical treatment.
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Police opened an investigation.
Hadassah Mount Scopus director Tamar Elram said there was “deep shock in light of the serious incident that took place here, where they only think about saving lives and working to alleviate the pain of patients.”
Staff, she said, “could not believe that after the efforts invested in caring for the patient, his family has rewarded them with such severe violence.”
Elram called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
There have been multiple incidents of violence at hospitals across Israel in recent years.
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.