Gazan patient arrested for sexually harassing staffer in Israeli hospital

The Arab was then sent home by the authorities.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A patient brought in from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment a few days ago was swiftly arrested Monday after sexually harassing a staffer in the Israeli hospital that was taking care of him.

An intern on duty at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon was shocked by the man, who began stroking her face and hair when she came in to check on him after his surgery.

She ran out of the room and told her superiors, who called for security.

“We immediately involved the person responsible for sexual harassment complaints, the general nurse, and the security team while calming the intern,” the hospital announced in a statement. “Security forces isolated [the man], and the police were called to the scene. They arrested the patient and took him to jail.”

The incident was handled with the involvement of the highest echelon of the hospital’s administration, the statement added.

According to Ynet, the authorities did not hold their prisoner for long, preferring instead to send him back to the Gaza Strip.

He was not a terrorist or a suspect in any nationalistic crime.

A month after the ongoing war broke out following the Hamas invasion and brutal killing spree on October 7, after many citizen protests against treating wounded terrorists in Israeli hospitals alongside their victims, Health Minister Moshe Arbel ordered that they instead be treated in IDF-run or prison clinics.

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Despite the directive, there have been periodic reports in the media of terrorists receiving medical attention in regular hospitals.

In December, Channel 12 cited an unnamed official who said that there was a rotation agreement among the Israeli medical centers for treating serious cases, which had been organized together with the Healthy Ministry.

Demonstrations against such a policy were renewed last month, with people protesting in front of hospital gates.

In a video that went viral, one vociferous objector, Herzl Hajaj, the father of a soldier murdered in a 2017 terrorist ramming attack, can be seen trying to enter the room in Hadassah-University Medical Center on Mount Scopus where a Nukhba terrorist was being cared for.

As security personnel hold him back, he yells repeatedly that “You should be ashamed of yourselves” for admitting one of Hamas’ elite fighters.

The Israel Medical Association (IMA) then sent a letter to hospital administrators reminding them that doctors are required by both international and Israeli law to treat all people, “regardless of who they are.” Their only consideration can be “the patient’s medical condition.”

“We will leave it to the judicial system to bring them to justice,” the letter added.

Ministry of Health Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov also told hospital directors in a Zoom call in April that treating terrorists in fully equipped medical centers “enables Israel’s legitimacy” in the world and also “saves many Israeli lives.”

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Following the call, Ynet cited informed sources who explained the latter remark by saying that curing terrorists had led to intelligence information that had helped rescue two hostages, Fernando Marman and Luis Har, in January.