Hospital (illustrative)
Hospital (illustrative)iStock

The Israel Medical Association on Thursday will hold a one-day strike in all hospitals and health clinics, protesting a number of recent incidents in which Arabs attacked medical staff - two of which occurred this week.

Hospitals will operate with a skeleton staff, and only lifesaving operations will be performed.

Dr. Yael Gilerman, Deputy Chair of the Israel Association of Family Physicians, told Galei Zahal that the strike was unavoidable, due to the need to draw attention to the risky security situation medical staff find themselves in.

"In most community clinics, there isn't even a security guard. We are definitely in a complicated situation and we're experiencing violence - about once a week," Dr. Gilerman said.

The first incident this week occurred on Monday, when family members of an Arab patient rioted in the intensive care unit at Hadassah Mount Scopus after being notified of his death.

Dozens of family members of the victim, residents of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods, broke doors and windows, destroyed the nurses' stand and beat the staff members. Two medical personnel suffered light injuries and were treated in the hospital emergency room.

The second incident this week occurred on Wednesday, in the northern city of Nahariya. In that incident, dozens of family members of an Arab motorcyclist from Abu Snan, who died at Galilee Medical Center from injuries sustained in an accident, tried to break into the hospital's shock room, attacking security personnel and civilians.

The security guards, who felt they were in a life-threatening situation, had to use pepper spray to get the rioters out of the emergency room. Several security personnel were lightly injured in the incident and were treated at the scene.