Victory for Arab-Israeli doctor fired for giving sweets to hospitalized terrorist

Dr. Ahmad Mahajneh will be reinstated at a Jerusalem hospital after he was dismissed for providing sweets and food to a teenage terrorist.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

An Arab-Israeli doctor who was fired for providing sweets to a hospitalized terrorist will be reinstated at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem after a months-long dispute over his termination.

Dr. Ahmad Mahajneh was dismissed by the hospital in October 2022 following allegations that he had praised and given sweets and food to Muhammad Abu Qatish.

After brutally stabbing a Jewish man in an unprovoked terror attack, Abu Qatish, 16, was shot once by a police officer and subsequently hospitalized in the ward where Mahajneh was a resident.

At the time of the incident, Hebrew-language media reported that Mahajneh had delivered a plate of the traditional Arabic dessert knafeh and other food to Abu Qatish’s room, praised him for his actions and called him a shahid (martyr) for the Palestinian cause.

He then clashed with a cop who was guarding Abu Qatish, refusing to identify himself after the police officer wanted to know who had given the sweets to the terrorist.

The story sparked enormous backlash among the Israeli public, and Hadassah Ein Kerem swiftly fired Mahajneh.

The doctor, however, maintained that the version of events purported in the media was false, and he pursued legal action against the hospital.

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Mahajneh told Hebrew-language outlets that he had ordered the sweets and food in order to celebrate successfully finishing his residency exams, and that staff distributed the leftover food to all of the patients hospitalized in his ward.

He also denied that he personally delivered the sweets to Abu Qaish. A kitchen worker told the hospital that she had been the one to “naively” bring the food to the terrorist.

In a laconic statement on Sunday, the hospital said an investigation found no evidence that Mahajneh made remarks praising Abu Qatish.

However, the medical center did say that Mahajneh had behaved in an “insulting” and “inappropriate” manner when confronted by the police officer about the sweets provided to the terrorist.

“I really did not do anything wrong,” Mahajneh told Kan News in November 2022.

“The only thing I regret is, maybe, I should have shown the police officer my identity card [when he asked to see it], and the issue could have been sorted out. But the way [the police officer] was speaking to me wasn’t nice.”

It appears that had Mahajneh not acted in a belligerent manner towards the officer, the incident likely could have been resolved without public controversy and a months-long legal dispute.