A man was indicted Friday for stabbing a nurse in Shmuel Harofe Geriatric Medical Center in the central Israel town of Beer Yaakov, where he had previously been treated.
According to the indictment, 31-year-old Oshar Bakhit, a Sudanese national, entered the hospital on July 2, carrying a knife with a 19-centimeter blade hidden in his pants. Bakhit, who had been a patient in the hospital from January to May, planned to attack one of the staff due to his anger that the hospital would not readmit him.
Ignoring the guard’s call for him to stop, Bakhit allegedly made his way to the nurse’s station. When the guard confronted him, Bakhit drew his knife and threatened him, and the guard fled.
Bakhit then allegedly stabbed a nurse, 65-year-old Rachel Kovo, plunging the knife deep into her abdomen. According to the indictment, the nurse grabbed Bakhit’s hand and held on to him to prevent him from stabbing her again.
The guard returned with his pistol drawn and forced Bakhit to drop the knife. He was then overpowered by staff.
Kovo was seriously wounded in the stabbing. She required two operations, was sedated for some two weeks and remains in intensive care.
Bakhit, who is in Israel on a tourist visa, was charged with serious intent to cause injury and with threatening others.
The Health Ministry strongly condemned the attack and ordered security increased at health institutions.
The incident led to nurses holding a nationwide strike earlier this month.
Esti Ayalon Kovo, the daughter of the nurse injured in the attack, spoke then about the need for action.
“Cases such as this should not happen again, and decision-makers must understand that they have an equally important role — to create a culture with zero tolerance for violence. Something has to change,” said Ayalon Kovo.
“She was attacked by a patient who wanted to be hospitalized again. He did not single her out — he hurt her because he was frustrated, because he was angry. I cannot understand it,” she added.
According to a December 2017 report issued by the Health Ministry committee examining the issue, there are more than 3,000 incidents of violence against medical personnel per year, with only 11 percent of them reported to police. Only a small portion of that percentage are ever brought to trial.
In March last year, 78-year-old Asher Faraj doused nurse Tova Kararo at his local HMO clinic in the city of Holon with flammable liquid and set it alight, killing her.