Four hurt, 20 arrested in massive armed brawl outside southern Israel hospital

Initial scuffle sparked as two Rahat families which have been locked in a years-long dispute meet at hospital; dozens seen fighting and hurling rocks as multiple gunshots heard ringing through the air

Ilana Curiel|
Four people were hurt and 20 arrested Sunday evening in a massive brawl between two families that broke out outside Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, with gunshots reportedly ringing through the air.
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  • The initial scuffle was sparked when two families from the Bedouin city of Rahat that have been locked in a years-long dispute both arrived at the hospital to tend to ailing relatives at the same time.
    Massive brawl breaks out outside Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva
    Sounds of gunfire were heard outside the hospital, as the dozens of young men were fighting and hurling rocks.
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    זירת האירוע
    Police arrive at Soroka Medical Center after armed brawl
    (Photo: Haim Horenstein)
    Law enforcement arrived at the scene and restored the order.
    Two of the four men who were injured in the brawl have suffered stab wounds and were being treated at the hospital with mild injuries. Another two were being treated for mild blunt trauma injuries.
    A doctor who was smoking a cigarette outside the emergency room when the fighting broke out reported the brawl to hospital security.
    "I saw people with stab wounds. We took them to a trauma room, and when we finished, we went back to work in the emergency room," he told Ynet. "Then I heard people shouting, I went outside and saw that someone with a gun started firing and then the rock throwing started. The police arrived and they just fled, I don't know how they escaped from Soroka like that."
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    הזכוכיות המנופצות
    הזכוכיות המנופצות
    Shattered windows outside Soroka Medical Center's emergency room
    (Photo: Ilana Curiel)
    The hospital said that no staff members were injured in the incident, and that the hospital was open to patients and visitors.
    "We condemn and are deeply concerned about the severe violence outside the medical center," the hospital's director general Dr. Shlomi Kadosh said in a statement after the brawl. "This is a red line that has been crossed and we demand decisive actions to maintain peace for visitors and hospital staff alike."
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