Israeli Nurse in Moderate Condition After Stabbing by Asylum Seeker

The Eritrean man, a patient in a central Israeli hospital, stabbed the 65-year-old nurse in her abdomen; nurses' association planning strike in response to 'violence in the health system'

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An ambulance evacuating a stabbing victim earlier this year.
An ambulance evacuating a stabbing victim earlier this year. Credit: \ Ilan Assayag

An asylum seeker from Eritrea in his thirties stabbed a nurse on Monday evening in the Shmuel Harofeh Geriatric Medical Center in Be’er Yaakov in the center of the country. The man was a patient in the tuberculosis ward in Shmuel Harofeh.

The nurse, 65, was in moderate condition and was rushed to nearby Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin, where she immediately underwent surgery. She was stabbed in the abdomen. The nurse worked in the tuberculosis ward in Shmuel Harofeh.

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The Health Ministry harshly condemned the violent incident and ordered to increase security in the ward. Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said: “We are committed to the health and safety of our medical staff. We will work with the police and Public Security Ministry to ensure that such incidents do not happen again.”

Moshe Bar Siman Tov, the director general of the Health Ministry, said such an incident cannot be ignored and all efforts will be made, by both the health system and law enforcement together, to protect the safety of the staff.

The National Association of Nurses in Israel announced it planned on holding a national protest strike on Wednesday and shut down the entire health system. “We must put an end to the violence against nurses,” said the association.

Ilana Cohen, the chairwoman of the nurses association, said they will not accept such violence in silence. “Nurses must be protected in their workplace. We must put an end to the violence in the health system. We will shut down the entire [health] system on Wednesday to say in the clearest way: ‘End the violence. No more,’” said Cohen.

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