Shaarei Tzedek
Shaarei Tzedekצילום: חזקי עזרא

Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center is investigating how a 29-year-old Arab from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Anata broke into the hospital, stole a cell phone, and sexually assaulted a woman in the maternity ward.

"This was an indecent act, but it was not rape." the hospital said in a statement. "Shaarei Tzedek is conducting a thorough investigation into how this imposter got past security at the entrance and will take measures to ensure that similar incidents do not happen."

The hospital said that it made the first call to the police about the incident. "Shaarei Tzedek immediately reported the incident to the police and helped with identifying the culprit using surveillance cameras, which led to his quick capture."

The suspect in the assault, Hazem Rasheq, allegedly attempted to rob a supermarket before being noticed and escaping. He then made his way to the hospital, where he stole a phone and a white doctor's coat. He then went into a room in the maternity ward and assaulted a patient there before fleeing again.

Police asked that Rasheq's remand be extended by ten days. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court granted police an eight day extension for the suspect.

Another incident occurred several years ago in the religious Jerusalem hospital, which treats many Arab patients. In 2011 a woman was brought to the hospital after being injured in an automobile accident. When she was taken to the ultrasound unit, an Arab wearing a doctor's white coat raped her.

Jerusalem District Court Judge Zvi Segal, sentenced the rapist in that incident to only four years in prison.

Last year, the victim launched a lawsuit against Shaarei Tzedek for allowing the rapist to enter the premises, pretend to be a doctor, and carry out the rape.