Palestinian Detainee, Sedated and Intubated at Hospital, Remains Cuffed Despite Doctors' Objections

The man, suspected of an unprovoked stabbing attack, has restraints on his hands and feet while unconscious at the hospital. Police have yet to acquiesce to doctors' request that they be removed

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The scene of the attack on Saturday.
The scene of the attack on Saturday.Credit: Police Spokesperson Unit
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

A Palestinian man arrested for an alleged stabbing attack Saturday is being held in a Jerusalem hospital with restraints on his hands and feet, despite the objections of his doctors, while sedated and intubated.

The head of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center's trauma center, Dr. Alon Schwartz, has asked the police to remove the restraints from Murad Barkat, 28, warning that it could endanger his recovery. The police have not yet agreed to the request.

According to police, Barkat approached and stabbed a 35-year-old man who was exercising on Hebron Road, on the seam line between West and East Jerusalem. The two began scuffling, at which point passersby came to assist the victim, who was lightly injured in the attack. Officers then arrived at the scene, and police say they shot the assailant when he began moving toward the officers. 

Barkat handcuffed to his hospital bed, Tuesday

Barkat was taken to the hospital in serious condition. He then underwent complex surgery, and has been sedated and on a ventilator for the past three days.

“Because of the extent of the injury, the road to recovery will be long, and it is still not possible to predict how long he will be hospitalized,” wrote Schwartz in a letter, originally posted on the Ynet news site.

“I must emphasize that movement is essential for his medical condition, and any limitations on his movement endanger his recovery through formation of blood clots in deep veins and lungs, and the development of bedsores and infections,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz added that while Barkat is sedated and on a ventilator, “the patient does not represent any danger because he is unconscious.” 

Dr. Tami Karni, chairwoman of the Israel Medical Association’s ethics board, has asked Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev to intervene and to examine whether it is possible to release Barkat from his restraints “at least until he regains consciousness and he is no longer sedated."

In her letter to Bar-Lev she continued, “It is important to remember that the role of the guards is to guard the prisoner, not to punish him. The punishment should be left to the decision of the courts after he recovers."

On Tuesday morning attorney Reem Asadi petitioned the Jerusalem District Court on Barkat’s behalf, demanding that he be freed from the restraints. 

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