Doctor falsely accused of praising terrorist quits job at Hadassah hospital

Slamming ‘systematic racist’ campaign against him, Dr. Ahmad Mahajneh says he no longer felt comfortable at hospital since being reinstated

Dr. Ahmad Mahajneh speaks to Kan news, December 4, 2022 (Kan screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Dr. Ahmad Mahajneh speaks to Kan news, December 4, 2022 (Kan screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A doctor who was temporarily suspended after being falsely accused of praising a Palestinian terror suspect under his care quit his job at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Dr. Ahmad Mahajneh, a resident at Hadassah Medical Center Ein Kerem, was found to be innocent over the October 26 incident after an investigation by the hospital, and was subsequently returned to work in January.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mahajneh explained his decision to now resign, saying he was “politically persecuted, and faced a systematic racist incitement campaign” when the false story broke to the public.

Mahajneh was accused of giving patient Muhammad Abu Qatish, 16, a plate of treats, congratulating him, and calling him a “shahid,” or martyr. Abu Qatish seriously wounded an Israeli man in a stabbing attack on October 22, in the Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat HaMivtar, according to Israeli authorities.

He also reportedly clashed verbally with a police officer who demanded to know who had given Abu Qatish the treats and ordered him to identify himself.

The accusations were initially broadcast by the right-wing group Betsalmo — following a report by Israel Hayom — which then retracted them and called for Mahajneh to be reinstated. Media reports initially relied on the apparently fabricated version of events, sparking outrage on social media, with some users threatening the doctor.

View of the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem on August 17, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Upon returning to work, Mahajneh said he no longer felt comfortable in the work environment and decided to leave the hospital.

“Here today, I am sharing my decision with you, tomorrow morning I will begin a new career path. I will not be at Hadassah Hospital, and this will be my last word,” he wrote.

Khaled Mahajneh, the doctor’s lawyer and brother, wrote in a statement that the resident returned to the medical center “with his head held high, with strength and pride, despite the injustice,” and made the decision to quit himself.

There was no immediate comment from the hospital.

In November, Mahajneh told The Times of Israel that he had never supported terrorism in his life, and that “terrorists deserve to be punished.”

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