Police are searching for five family members of a 19-year-old female patient treated at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital after they allegedly beat three security guards in the hospital’s emergency room following an early morning altercation.
The assault took place shortly after 3 a.m., when the unidentified patient, who was accompanied by her father, allegedly attempted to steal an emergency room nurse’s cellphone, according to a hospital representative.
Shortly after three guards came to intervene, five members of the patient’s family – including one relative reportedly armed with a pistol – drove to the ER entrance and proceeded to beat the security guards, leaving all three in light-to-moderate condition.
The relatives then fled the scene in the car before police were called. The patient and her father were arrested at the scene, while police continued searching for the remaining five suspects.
Following the assault, the hospital’s medical director, Prof. Roni Gamzu, demanded that officers be stationed on the premises at all times going forward.
“This is a very serious incident that reflects the helplessness of the system against criminals who act violently against medical personnel,” said Gamzu. “Based on my decision today, a policeman will be stationed 24/7 in the emergency room, and I expect this soon to be the case at all hospitals.”
Moreover, Gamzu said he demanded that the Public Security Ministry and police prosecute the family members to the fullest extent of the law to send a firm message.
“I especially expect the judicial system to enforce a severe punishment that will eventually serve as a deterrence against anyone who attacks doctors, nurses and health workers,” he added.
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman condemned the attack on the hospital staff.
“This is a criminal and serious act that must be denounced as a dangerous phenomenon that threatens the welfare of health workers,” said Litzman. “Violence against the hospital staff
must not be tolerated.”
Litzman also called for tougher punishment and increased enforcement to deter attacks on medical teams.
“I expect the Israel Police to act [strongly] against offenders,” he said.Judy Siegel contributed to this report.
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