Israeli Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman expressed “shock and horror” at the immolation death of a worker at a Kupat Cholim (HMO) office in Holon on Tuesday.
“It is shocking that a health-care worker could be murdered only because of the care she was attempting to provide a patient,” Rabbi Litzman said in a statement. “This act represents a crossing of all red lines against violence. I trust that police are investigating the matter thoroughly and are gathering evidence.”
At an office of the Clalit HMO in Holon, an elderly individual splashed flammable liquid on a nurse in her late 50s, threw a match at her, and ran away. The nurse was killed, and three individuals who were in the office at the time were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment of shock.
The perpetrator, a 78-year-old Holon resident, was arrested a short time later. Police said that he was a Holocaust survivor who suffered from emotional problems. According to a report on Channel Ten, witnesses said he claimed that the nurse tried to inject him with poison last week when he came in for an inoculation.
The victim was a 35-year veteran of the Clalit organization, the Histadrut said, “and was a worker whose entire being was dedicated to her patients.”
In the wake of the incident, all Clalit offices in the Tel Aviv region are closed through Wednesday, and the Histadrut labor union said that all health facilities in the country would be closed for two hours Wednesday morning in protest against what it called “ongoing violence and a lack of police protection” against health-care workers.
In his statement, Rabbi Litzman said that he wished to reassure all medical staff, including doctors, workers and all care workers, “that we are behind them. We cannot accept instances of violence, and there can be no justification for attacks on health-care workers. I extend my condolences to the family during this very difficult time.”