Four residents of the haredi town of Beitar Illit were hospitalized after they reported feeling ill shortly after coming in contact with a powdery material found in packages they received from an online retailer.
The four Beitar Illit residents – including a 47-year-old mother, a 20-year-old daughter, 17-year-old son, and a 7-year-old son – called emergency medical services after they fell ill Sunday afternoon.
Initial reports indicate the four fell ill after they opened two packages they had received in the mail from China, as part of an online order from the Ali Express website.
The packages apparently contained a suspicious powder, which authorities later identified as magnesium carbonate.
Police were dispatched to the scene and cordoned off the Rebbe MeZvhil Street.
United Hatzalah emergency first responder teams treated the four family members at the scene, before evacuating them to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, following tests at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. The four were listed in light condition.
“There were four family members,” said United Hatzalah paramedic Haim Blau, “who felt ill after they opened a package with an unidentified substance in it. Fire and rescue teams as well as security forces are working at the scene. The four victims were evacuated for testing at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, and at this stage they are in light condition.”