Doctors assist security guard in bloody Israeli game
JERUSALEM — A security guard who shielded others when he picked up a firecracker that was thrown during a basketball game will still have the use of three fingers on his mangled hand, a hospital official said Tuesday.
Yoav Glitzstein has been called a hero for grabbing the homemade explosive before it could go off and possibly wound some of the players, coaches and fans at the Jerusalem basketball stadium.
The explosive was thrown less than two minutes before the end of Sunday’s game between Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel’s top professional league.
The live TV broadcast captured a loud boom, followed by a small cloud of white smoke and the sight of the guard falling on his face at the sideline. Horrified players, coaches and fans shouted with disbelief, and the game was not resumed.
Medics worked on Glitzstein at courtside, then rushed him to Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem, where surgery lasted nine hours. The lead surgeon was Dr. Michael Chernofsky, who moved to Israel from New Jersey three years ago.
“He had severe damage to all of his five fingers. Two of them where in such a condition that there was nothing to do,” said Ron Krumer, a spokesman for Hadassah Hospital. Doctors were able to save the other three, he said.
Yossi Malakh, a fan of visit- ing Holon, was arrested, and he confessed to throwing the explosive, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Malakh, 20, covered his face with his hood and cursed at reporters and Israel’s left when confronted with TV cameras at court Monday.
Sports figures and columnists also expressed outrage at the growing violence around Israeli sports. Fans have been injured in fistfights in the stands, and smoke bombs have been thrown at basketball and soccer games.