Five people, including the head of a known criminal gang from the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion, were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms ranging from 17 to 25 months for severely beating up security guards at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital in September in a fracas caught on CCTV camera.
The sentencing of the sixth person involved — 19-year-old model Elia Kadosh — will be handed down at a later date.
The six were convicted a week ago at the Tel Aviv District Court through a plea bargain, with several charges dropped in exchange for the group’s confessions and cooperation.
Gang member David Amoyal, 35, Kadosh’s boyfriend, was sentenced to 25 months in prison for his involvement, along with Kadosh and four of their friends, in causing serious injury as a group and group assault causing bodily harm.
Together with Kadosh, he was also convicted of menacing behavior.
Avraham Yosephov, 28, was sentenced to 22 months behind bars; Hanan Alfasi, 49, will serve 19 months; and Ruslan Misayev, 28, and Mor Biton, 21, will serve 17 months each.
Tel Aviv District Court judge Zvi Gurfinkel said, “There’s no need to expand on the severity of the deeds in this case. This is not a routine case of a patient and family members being angry over treatment, but of a group that came together expressly for bullying for its own sake.
“They came to settle scores with the medical team and this phenomenon is unacceptable,” he added. “The role of the court is to make it clear to the public that there will be no tolerance for violence against medical staff.”
Kadosh was convicted of assaulting a policeman and violating the terms of her house arrest, in addition to being part of the group that caused serious injury and assault causing bodily harm.
She was sent for psychiatric testing.
The State Prosecutor’s Office agreed to request a prison sentence that could be commuted into community service in light of her medical and mental state.
The defendants were also ordered to pay the security guards who were attacked a total of NIS 120,000 ($35,000).
According to the charge sheet, Kadosh came to the hospital’s emergency center on September 28, accompanied by Misayev, a friend of Amoyal. At some point, Kadosh began to swear and scream at the medical team, complaining that she was not receiving adequate treatment.
One of the security guards noticed her trying to grab the telephone from the head nurse and tried to move her away from the counter, according to the charge sheet.
She then threatened the medical team and the guards and said, “Wait and see what’ll happen to you when my husband arrives.”
Misayev then left and contacted Amoyal. Arriving at the hospital with Biton, Alfasi and Yosephov, Amoyal spotted one of the guards at the entrance, and shouted to him, “I am your Satan, just wait, not in front of the cameras, I’ll catch you outside,” the prosecution said, quoting the video footage.
The five then went into the emergency room and began attacking four guards, one of whom hit his head on the floor and had to be taken to the trauma unit.
The attackers then fled back to their car with three guards in pursuit. When one of the guards tried to stop Yosephov from getting into the car, Amoyal and the four other men pinned him to the wall and attacked him “without mercy,” beating him in the face, head and all over his body, according to the allegations.
One of the guards needed stitches to his head and had one tooth broken and another damaged, requiring lengthy dental treatment. Another guard suffered cuts to his head and upper lip, the court heard, while the third sustained bruising and swelling in his head, nose and shoulder.
When police arrived, Kadosh allegedly tried to get away from the unit and when told to sit down, punched a policewoman in the face twice and spat at her. When tackled to the floor, she allegedly scratched the policewoman’s face, spat at her and tried to bite her, swearing at her throughout. Once handcuffed, she allegedly continued trying to spit and kick until police cuffed her feet as well.
Security camera footage of the attack showed the guards being surrounded and kicked and punched by the attackers. The hospital said that the medical and nursing staff were “stunned and frightened by the violence.”
Following the original hospital attack, a group representing Israel’s emergency doctors demanded that the government immediately post a uniformed police officer in every ER to protect staff against what it said was a wave of increasingly violent attacks on its personnel.