The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday convicted an 80-year-old man of murder for killing a nurse at the clinic where she worked.
On March 14, 2017, Asher Faraj entered an examination room at his local HMO clinic in the city of Holon with a bottle of flammable liquid and two lighters. He covered Tova Kararo, 55, with the liquid before setting her alight. Kararo was declared dead at the scene by emergency workers.
Kinneret Mor of the Tel Aviv District Prosecutor’s Office welcomed the court’s decision.
“The court accepted our position and held that the defendant was responsible for his actions during the murder of Tova Kararo. The defendant committed the murder in the most cruel way, when he set fire to the deceased while she was alive during a medical examination,” Mor said.
“The law enforcement system views cases of violence against medical personnel very harshly and is doing all it can to combat this abominable phenomenon,” Mor added.
According to the court indictment against him, Faraj, became angry after the flu shot he received from Kararo a week earlier made him feel weak and unwell.
Staff members said Faraj had returned to the clinic every day after his inoculation to angrily confront staff, and refused to believe them when they explained he was experiencing routine side effects of the vaccine.
According to the indictment Faraj “visited [Kararo] frequently on various medical matters, and therefore knew the staff of the clinic as a whole and the deceased in particular.”
Faraj booked a blood test and arrived at the clinic with a bottle of flammable liquid and two lighters, according to the indictment. He waited his turn, and after he entered the examination room, deliberately covered Kararo with the liquid before setting her alight.
Faraj fled the scene in his car, but was caught by police after a chase. A psychiatric examination determined he was fit to stand trial.
The incident prompted much of Israel’s health care, education and social work systems to shut down for two hours on the day after the attack, in protest of acts of violence directed at staff.
Health care officials say violence against doctors and other medical staff by angry patients and family members is a chronic issue in Israel.
Faraj was born in Iraq, but gets benefits from Israeli authorities as a Holocaust survivor because of anti-Semitism he suffered in his youth, according to Yedioth Ahronoth.