A 77-year-old old Holocaust survivor was charged with murder by Tel Aviv’s Magistrate Court Wednesday for an incident last month in which he burned a nurse to death.
According to Times of Israel, the man, Asher Faraj, set 55-year-old nurse Tova Kara on fire after receiving a flu shot which made him feel sick. The incident took place while Faraj was a patient at Tel Aviv’s Holon Clinic.
Under questioning by police, Faraj said he “didn’t want to harm anyone — only to throw a burning bottle.” A car chase ensured after Faraj fled the scene following the murder. Faraj’s attorneys argued in a post-arrest hearing that their client is mentally ill, and that his family had previously sought psychiatric care.
Faraj, in a paranoid state, told Israel’s Channel 2 he suspected his flu shot may have been poisoned. Times of Israel reported that staff members at the clinic said Faraj angrily confronted them every day after receiving his flu shot, dismissing their claims that the side effects he was experiencing were routine.
Vigils for Kararo were held last month at hospitals and clinics throughout Israel, with the late nurse’s loved ones remembering her as “the angel of the family.”
“We lost a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a friend, a loving wife,” the family wrote in a letter. “She always loved everyone and looked after everyone.”
“It’s very hard for me to think about how it happened to her,” Karero’s daughter, Nofar Aslan Karero, told Channel 2, according to Israel National News.
“I can accept that people are dying, but this way is so shocking, I can’t stop thinking about what went through her mind during those last seconds. That was mother, who was our entire world.”