Amid outcry, wounded terrorists not being treated in Israeli civilian hospitals

After some terrorists were initially brought to emergency rooms, sparking uproar, Health Minister Moshe Arbel instructs they be redirected to prison services’ medical facilities

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Palestinians ride on an Israeli military vehicle taken from an army base overrun by Hamas terrorists near the Gaza Strip fence, in Gaza City, October 7, 2023. (Abed Abu Reash/AP)
Palestinians ride on an Israeli military vehicle taken from an army base overrun by Hamas terrorists near the Gaza Strip fence, in Gaza City, October 7, 2023. (Abed Abu Reash/AP)

Chaos erupted at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv Wednesday evening amid widespread anger over reports that Hamas terrorists injured during the group’s murderous assault are being treated by Israeli hospitals.

However, as dozens of members of an ultranationalist group showed up and scuffled with police and security personnel, there were not in fact any terrorists at the hospital.

According to a Sheba spokesperson, a terrorist had been brought in for treatment, but senior hospital staff had ordered that he not be accepted. The spokesperson said he did not know where the injured terrorist ended up.

As of Thursday morning, no terrorists were being treated at Israeli hospitals, according to Hebrew media reports. The terrorists were instead brought to prison service medical facilities.

This follows Health Minister Moshe Arbel’s sending a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday informing him that he had directed all public hospitals and health services to redirect injured terrorists to IDF or prison service medical facilities.

“Since the beginning of the war, the issue of treating the accursed Hamas terrorists in public hospitals has created great strain on the healthcare system,” Arbel wrote.

Moshe Arbel attends a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony held at the Knesset in Jerusalem, April 18, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

He wrote that the health system needed to be focused on treating victims of the slaughter committed by the terrorists, injured soldiers, and on preparing for what is to come in the war.

“The task of treating and providing security for the accursed terrorists in the public healthcare system just detracts from this,” Arbel wrote.

On Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv updated the media that a terrorist had been brought by ambulance from a prison facility to the emergency room. However, when the situation was clarified, the prisoner was not allowed into the hospital.

A doctor exited the hospital building and assessed the terrorist’s condition in the ambulance, whereupon the vehicle was directed to the prison service’s medical facility in Ramle.

Petah Tikvah’s Rabin Medical Center, part of the Clalit health maintenance organization system, issued a statement assuring the public that there are currently no terrorists there.

“And we don’t expect to receive or treat any in the future,” the hospital said.

A spokesperson for Hadassah Medical Center, a private hospital in Jerusalem, said, “The hospital operates according to the decisions of the government and the Health Ministry. Every patient referred to Hadassah receives full medical care,” not divulging whether any terrorists had been brought to its emergency room.

Prof. Hagai Levine, chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health, said that Israeli doctors treat whoever is in need. However, he believed it was best to treat the terrorists in a single medical center — civilian, military, or penal — so as not to disrupt the strained healthcare system.

“Whatever that place is, it is Israeli physicians treating terrorists who just killed their friends,” he said.

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