Court: Hospitals must have prayer rooms for non-Jews

High Court of Justice instructs Health Ministry to ensure space for Muslim, other religions' prayer in 6 major public hospitals.

June 26, 2013 17:40
Muslims pray in mosque [illustrative]

Muslims pray in mosque 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Andrew Biraj)

The High Court of Justice instructed the Health Ministry on Wednesday to ensure the allocation of space in the six major public hospitals for prayer rooms for Muslims and people of other religions.

Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba -- two of the six -- already has a prayer room in addition to a synagogue. The others, which will have to set up such rooms, are Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The hospitals have 18 months to open the prayer rooms.

The petition to the High Court of Justice was filed by a Muslim who said that while visiting the Tel Aviv hospital, he felt debased and suffered discrimination because he had to pray outdoors since there is no prayer room there besides a synagogue.

In 2011, Health Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu instructed the state hospitals to set up prayer rooms for non-Jews.

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