A particularly violent incident took place at Hadassah Har HaTzofim Hospital on Monday evening after members of an Arab family began to riot after they were informed that their relative had died.
The hospital staff engaged in extensive resuscitation attempts after the Arab was rushed to the hospital in critical condition due to overdosing on drugs. When they were forced to declare his death, dozens of his relatives went beserk, storming into the ICU and rioting.
They broke doors and windows in the unit, damaged the nurses’ station, including the computers and equipment, and beat staff members, two of whom had to be treated in the hospital’s emergency room.
The hospital security guards, with the assistance of the Israel Police, eventually restored order, but staff members were left in a state of shock and distress.
The hospital director and director of social services met with the staff to help them process the incident and express their support. “We at Hadassah express deep shock at the severe incident that happened here, at a place that we only think about saving lives and alleviating patients’ pain,” hospital director Tamar Elram said. “Our staff, dedicated people who faithfully fulfill their jobs around the clock, were beaten and injured. It’s unbelievable that after the efforts invested in treating the patient, his family ‘rewarded’ them with such severe violence.”
“We cannot remain silent until they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. I stand here tonight in sorrow and show my support to each and every one of our staff members. One of the nurses told me: ‘I’ve been a nurse for 21 years and this is the first time I feared for my life.'”
“We’ll continue to do everything to restore the staff members’ sense of security in the face of violent incidents.”
Unfortunately, incidents of Arab violence at Israeli hospitals are common but the incident on Monday was unprecedented in its severity.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)