Israel’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 47, with 8,018 confirmed cases of infection, according to Israel’s Health Ministry. Of the confirmed cases, 7,195 patients are listed as being in mild condition, 173 in moderate condition and 127 in critical condition, among them 106 on ventilators. Thus far, 477 people in Israel have recovered from the virus.

Amid the backdrop of the tragic spread of the virus at a Beersheva nursing home, and as part of the efforts to stop the spread of the outbreak in Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tasked the Defense Ministry and Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command with helping the Health Ministry to administer the country’s nursing homes.

Meanwhile, on Saturday evening, a Magen David Adom volunteer paramedic was attacked upon entering Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood to administer a coronavirus test, with neighborhood residents hurling stones and other objects at him. He sustained a light head wound and was taken to hospital for treatment. The windshield of his vehicle was also smashed. A crime report was filed with police.

“I got out of the municipality-issued vehicle we drive around to take blood samples, and on the way to the home of a person who was showing symptoms [of the coronavirus] … all of a sudden a crowd of people began gathering around me, shouting at me and they threw stones and other things at me,” said Nassim Khatib, the medic.

He continued: “My head was slightly injured and the windshield of the car I was driving in was shattered. I immediately reported it to headquarters, and a police patrol and ambulance were dispatched to evacuate me to the hospital. It’s a tough feeling when you come to do a test for a person who needs help and on the way you’re attacked. This can’t happen.”

Saturday’s incident was the third assault against emergency personnel in the past week in Mea Shearim. Earlier Saturday, police forces were attacked while trying to disperse a crowd that had unlawfully gathered to pray at a synagogue in the neighborhood. Some 10 suspects were arrested on charges of assaulting and disobeying an officer.

Early last week, an MDA crew was attacked when trying to enter the neighborhood. Residents reportedly identified an Israeli flag on the medics’ uniforms and told one of the medics to remove it. They later threw stones at the medics and broke their car windshields. The medics weren’t injured in the incident. but their driver sustained a shoulder injury. A report was filed with police.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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