A nurse was burnt alive by a patient in a clinic in Holon, South of Tel Aviv, Israel. The suspect, a 78-year-old man was reportedly unhappy with the treatment she gave him.

The unnamed man was reported to have had a flu vaccination about a week ago. He returned to the clinic daily to complain about it and about the clinic's medical staff.

Police District Commander Sigal Bar-Tzvi said that the man was unsatisfied with the treatment and "following an argument, he poured a flammable liquid he had brought with him ahead of time on the nurse treating him and set her on fire."

Other reports suggest the suspect left the clinic before returning and setting a fire in the room where the nurse, 56-year-old Tova Kararo was working. The empty bottle and lighter believed to be used by the arsonist were found at the scene.

Witnesses report explosions and screaming

Bar-Tzvi said that incident was "an extraordinary event and particularly shocking," and that the suspect fled by car but was later arrested by "large police forces."

A witness said, "I was waiting in line when I heard screaming. When I approached, I saw the woman burning, surrounded by people trying to put the fire out. It was horrible."

Another witness by the name of Doris, was also inside the clinic said she saw the door of the room open, with a plastic fruit juice bottle on fire thrown into the room.

"All of a sudden there was black smoke and boom-like explosions," she added.

The fire was immediately extinguished but resuscitation efforts failed for Kararo and she was unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene. Three other people are treated for smoke inhalation.

A police spokeswoman said that the perpetrator was apparently "mentally unstable", while media reports mentioned that he was a Holocaust survivor who thought the vaccination was an attempt to poison him.

Relevant organisations and associations arrange two-hour strike

A two-hour strike (except for emergencies) on 15 March was scheduled by one of Israel's labour union and approved by Ilana Cohen, chairman of the Israel Nurses’ Association; Ariel Ya’acobi, chairman of the state employees organization; and Prosper Ben-Hamu, head of the Clalit workers union.

A previous strike was also held on 14 March at 11am at all Clalit clinics in the Tel Aviv area. The strikes were held in tribute to Ms Kararo, to show solidarity of health workers and to create awareness regarding the safety of the country's health workers.

"A devoted nurse who served the community for 35 years was cruelly murdered at her workplace through no fault of her own. It’s inconceivable," said Avi Nissenkorn, head of the Histadrut labour federation. He has also called for various ministries to help build an action plan to protect all workers.

Violence a daily matter in hospitals and clinics

Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman also expressed his shock over the death of Kararo, stating that the incident was "a crossing of the redline of violence." He also expressed support for healthcare professionals and promised to investigate the incident thoroughly with the Israel Police.

In recent years, the ministry, medical institutions and the Israel Medical Association have refrained from allowing protests or organising workers' assemblies over increasing violence. Between 2014 and 2016, there were at least 3,000 instances of verbal or physical violence in hospitals and clinics reported.

A quarter of these incidents have occurred in hospitals, especially in emergency rooms. This is the first incident that has caused a fatality.

The Family Physicians Association expressed its shock at the murder, stating, “A day doesn’t pass without some violence. It is routine. The government and law-enforcement authorities must end their apathy and take action so no more murders occur.” MIMS

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