Hospitals across Israel on Monday expressed solidarity with Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital after the family of an elderly woman who passed away last month from COVID-19 publicly accused its medical staff of intentionally murdering the unvaccinated patient.
A photo showing the recently deceased woman’s gravestone engraved with the words “murdered at the hands of Beilinson Hospital in the coronavirus ward” ignited a social media storm on Sunday, with the Health Ministry weighing in to decry the allegation, which it characterized as the “culmination of a wave of incitement against healthcare workers in Israel.”
“Medical teams have been battling under emergency conditions for nearly two years, non-stop, to save the lives of coronavirus patients,” the ministry said in a tweet, adding that “fake [news] is what kills.”
The inscription on the gravestone also added “may the Almighty avenge her blood,” a phrase usually reserved for cases of violent death in circumstances such as terrorist attacks.
According to public broadcaster Kan, the hospital stated that the patient, who was elderly and unvaccinated, had been treated “with endless devotion” but had passed away from a heart attack after being brought in following a period of independent home treatment. It also reported that the hospital has filed a police complaint over the matter.
Multiple hospitals, including Soroka Medical Center, Ichilov Medical Center, Sheba-Tel Hashomer, and Assuta Medical Center, all uploaded identical posts to Facebook featuring an image of Beilinson Hospital’s coronavirus ward and the hashtag #WeAreAllBeilinson.
In an interview with Kan public radio on Sunday, the Health Ministry's head of public health services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis described herself as dismayed “on a level that is difficult to describe” by the incident, describing the hospital’s workers as “dedicated people who put themselves at risk to save others.”
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She added that anti-vaxxers have demonstrated outside her home, exposing her children to curses and accusations of war crimes.
“This happens on a daily basis. There were [enough] threats [that they gave] me a panic button,” she said.