Israeli Dies of Hypothermia in Bat Yam, Fifth Case This Week

Four Israelis, including week-old infant, hospitalized this week with low core body temperatures.

Stormy weather in Tel Aviv this week.
Moti Milrod

A homeless man in his 50s was found dead on a park bench in Bat Yam Thursday morning, apparently of hypothermia, the fifth hypothermia case this week.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said it responded to a report at about 7:30 A.M. of an unconscious man on Ha’atzmaut Boulevard in Bat Yam. Paramedic Tal Hershko told reporters the man was unconscious, had no pulse, was not breathing and was cold to the touch. He was declared dead shortly after he was brought to a local hospital.

The Bat Yam municipality said that its unit that cares for the homeless “works year-round to help its clients leave the street and undergo rehabilitation. The deceased was under the care of the department and we recently offered him a number of shelters but he refused to be housed in any of them. We are doing everything we can to assist street dwellers, but we cannot force a person to go to a shelter if he does not want to do so.”

Of the four other cases reported by Magen David Adom this week, another was in Bat Yam, where an 88-year-old man was found Wednesday freezing in his apartment and hospitalized in serious condition. Another was in Ariel, on Monday, where a 6-day-old baby was hospitalized with severe hypothermia and later released. In Petah Tikva a 63-year-old man was found lying on the floor in his home and was hospitalized with moderate hypothermia. Another homeless man, from Rishon Letzion, was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital, Tzrifin with slight hypothermia.

Magen David Adom called on people to keep in close touch with elderly relatives and neighbors to make sure they are healthy and not in need on cold winter days. According to a survey by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews through the Cartographic Institute, one out of every five elderly people in Israel has to forgo heating because of economic need.