By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
A combat soldier being treated in a psychiatric hospital was allegedly raped in July by a Palestinian terrorist put in the same room with him, Walla News reported Sunday.
The Palestinian was a serial border jumper who also spent 15 months in prison some eight years ago for stabbing a security guard. When caught six months ago again on a bus in Jerusalem, police told the judge of his previous convictions but instead of jailing him the court sent him for psychological observation at the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center.
The victim had been given a strong drug by the medical staff and was helpless to resist when the assailant climbed into his bed and committed the crime. While in enormous pain, the soldier had the presence of mind to go afterward to the nursing station and tell the staff what had happened. He was sent to the hospital for post-rape care and police came to take his testimony.
“It is delusional to take a dangerous Palestinian patient who is not even supposed to be in the country at all, and who is a prisoner, and put him in a room with an Israeli citizen,” the victim told the Hebrew language news site. “A combat soldier who served meaningfully, in the territories, in Tapuach [Junction], in Hebron, in Jenin…. It’s simply unthinkable.”
“I’m very angry at the hospital,” the victim continued. “I was not protected. They put me with someone who seemingly had nothing to lose. After it happened a nurse even told me, ‘We can’t place guards in every room and we can’t check the patients every minute.’… From these answers it can be understood that they don’t take responsibility there and simply allow this kind of anarchy.
“Except for the psychologist, no one there talked to me about it. I tried to raise the subject in the doctors’ discussion that takes place every week but they pretty much pushed me aside. No one apologized. I think they’re trying to hide the incident and forget it. No one came to talk to me, not from the hospital management, not from the Health Ministry.”
He is still traumatized by the attack months later, even after leaving the hospital.
“The incident haunts me,” he said.
The Palestinian was arrested the same day and removed from the hospital. He has since been convicted in his illegal-entry case, as the expert psychiatric opinion was that he was responsible for his actions. Judge Yaron Mintkevitch wrote in his decision that “between the lines one can see that the expert’s impression was that [the defendant] tried to manufacture a façade of mental illness that he does not have.” He went further, stating, “Even with an unprofessional eye one can reach the same conclusion from the defendant’s behavior in the courtroom.”
The sexual assault case has yet to be decided in court.
The Health Ministry told Walla that the hospital had reported what had happened and that the ministry would be appointing a team to examine the incident “to learn the lessons that will help prevent similar occurrences in the future” as “we have zero tolerance towards serious incidents of assault of patients or staff.”
However, a source in Kfar Shaul told Walla that the report was filed only after the media site had asked about the attack.