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Police arrest man for threatening, assaulting Beilinson Hospital staff

33-year-old Ramle resident strikes officers who come to arrest him, days after Knesset approves first reading of bill aimed at protecting healthcare professionals

Illustrative: Beilinson Hospital at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva. (Wikimedia Commons)
Illustrative: Beilinson Hospital at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva. (Wikimedia Commons)

A 33-year-old man was arrested on Thursday after he attacked healthcare professionals at Beilinson Hospital in the central city of Petah Tikvah, amid a wave of violence against medical professionals.

The man, a resident of Ramle and a patient at the hospital, attacked and threatened nurses and doctors at the medical center, then assaulted law enforcement officers who were called to detain him, according to Hebrew media reports.

It was not immediately clear what provoked the individual.

Police are investigating the incident and will decide at the end of the probe whether to extend his detention.

The Knesset on Monday passed the first reading of a bill aimed at stiffening punishment for assaults on medical staff, following a string of incidents in recent months. It must clear two more votes before becoming law.

The motion, initially proposed by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar in May, would increase the maximum punishment for attacks against on-duty medical staff from the current three years in jail to five.

A photo released by the Health Ministry shows Dr. Idit Weisbach following an attack by a patient at a clinic in Beer Yaakov on June 14, 2022 (Health Ministry)

The proposal would also broaden the definition of medical staff to include first-aid personnel and paramedics. It would also apply to attacks occurring during any form of medical treatment.

In June, Dr. Idit Weisbach required seven stitches to her scalp and a CT scan after she was beaten with a crowbar by a patient at a Clalit health center in Beer Yaakov.

Doctors and healthcare workers have staged strikes and rallies over the past year to protest the wave of violence against medical staff.

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