The Ministerial Committee for Legislation gave its initial okay Sunday to a proposal aimed at stiffening punishment for assaults on medical staff, following a string of incidents in recent months.

The motion, proposed by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, would increase the maximum punishment for attacks against on-duty medical staff from the current three years in jail to five.

The proposal would also broaden the definition of medical staff to include first-aid personnel and paramedics. It would also apply to attacks occurring during any form of medical treatment.

The motion will need to pass three Knesset votes to become law.

Also on Sunday, Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of Yaakov Haba, suspected of assaulting and injuring a doctor with a crowbar at a local clinic in Be’er Yaakov last week.

Following the alleged attack, the doctors union launched a work slowdown at public hospitals and clinics around the country.

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