Bomb squad called to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa

Security was alerted after a woman heard a nearby man say on the phone "Today, I will be a shahid (martyr)."

 POLICE AT Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. (photo credit: RAMBAM HEALTH CARE CAMPUS)
POLICE AT Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.
(photo credit: RAMBAM HEALTH CARE CAMPUS)

Police and a bomb squad were rushed to Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa on Monday on suspicion that an Arab resident of Tulkarm planned to commit a suicide bombing attack, the hospital said.

Tulkarm is an Arab town in the West Bank.

A female passerby heard the man say on the phone, “Today I will be a shahid” – the Arabic word for "martyr." She alerted security guards who immediately tackled the 30-year-old man and contacted police.

Israel Police and the bomb squad arrived on the scene as the man was attempting to escape, police said. A police motorcycle squad nabbed the suspect and took him to the Haifa police station for questioning.

A spokesperson for Rambam shared a video that was disseminated by KAN news of the event's aftermath, in which one can see that the area is warded off and hear some chaos in the background.

Israeli security forces guard as Palestinians protest against Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, near Tulkarm, in the West Bank on June 5, 2020. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)Israeli security forces guard as Palestinians protest against Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, near Tulkarm, in the West Bank on June 5, 2020. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

The man had no explosives in his possession.

“There is no longer fear of a bomb attack,” the hospital said. “The situation has been resolved.”

In general, there has been an uptick in violence against medical personnel in recent months, putting hospitals on alert – though this has been centered on domestic disturbances. At Rambam specifically, there were some 1,000 disruptions of order between January and October 2020 compared to 1,500 during the same time period this year, according to Benny Keller, head of Rambam’s security department.