Shaare Zedek’s trauma response teams again responded on Tuesday morning, November 18, following a terror attack in the nearby Har Nof neighborhood.
The attack initially claimed the lives of four people (Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, and Aryeh Kupinsky) took place at the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue on Shimon Agassi St. during morning prayers and involved the use of meat cleavers, knives and guns. In addition to those killed at the scene, approximately eight others were injured including three who were transferred to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and are being treated at this time for injuries resulting from both stab wounds and gunshots. That evening, one of the wounded, Master Sergeant Zidan Sif, age 30 from Yanuh-Jat, who joined the Israel Police in April 2011 and served as a traffic control inspector at the Jerusalem Police Department, succumbed to his wounds. A member of Israel’s Druze community, Sif was posthumously promoted to the rank of First Sergeant.
In addition to those being treated from the general public, a Shaare Zedek physician, Dr. Yitzchak Heshin was directly involved in the incident and lightly injured. Dr. Heshin, a physician in the hospital’s Oncology Institute, was in the synagogue when the two terrorists burst in and directly approached him. He was able to dive for cover behind a table before fleeing the scene. In an interview with Israel Army Radio, Dr. Heshin said that despite his instincts as a doctor to save lives, he realized that the only action that would save his own would be to get as far from the scene as possible. He eventually made his way to Shaare Zedek where he was treated for light wounds and described the emotional trauma of the incident which he said he will never be able to forget.
Dr. Ofer Merin, Deputy Director General at Shaare Zedek and Director of Trauma Services, was charged with triaging and treating the patients. Asked by reporters if the hospital had raised its responsiveness levels, Dr. Merin acknowledged that in recent weeks the terror threat had necessitated an even higher level of preparedness but that the nature of emergency medicine required that the trauma teams be ready at all times.
Earlier in the week Shaare Zedek treated a 32 year-old Breslov Hasid who was stabbed with a screwdriver by an unknown Arab assailant in central Jerusalem. The hospital also continues to treat Yehuda Glick, victim of a shooting attack earlier in the month, who was seriously injured and whose condition has improved considerably in recent days.
Shaare Zedek also treated victims of a knife assault on Monday, November 10 near the entrance to Alon Shvut and a Wednesday, November 5 attack in which a Hamas member drove his vehicle into a group of people at a light rail station.
“Like always, Shaare Zedek remains prepared to respond to whatever medical needs are presented to us,” said Uri Schwarz, Director of International Operations at the Hospital. “We fully recognize that the current security environment requires that we be prepared for all types of incidents and that is exactly what we are doing. Our staff is constantly training for all types of emergencies and we can promise that we will be here to respond.”