TEL AVIV (Mar. 31)
A fire that gutted Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv destroyed the medical files of some 50,000 Israeli war invalids and caused damage estimated at over IL 1,5 million, it was reported today. The blaze, attributed to a short circuit, destroyed a medical rehabilitation center and an X-ray unit, Hospital officials have set up makeshift clinics for out-patients who come daily for examinations and treatment. The Sheba Medical Center was housed in an American built World War II type quonset structure consisting of cinder blocks and galvanized iron roofing.
Local authorities, meanwhile, are trying to head off a threatened nationwide firemen’s strike set for this Thursday. The fire-fighters are demanding higher wages and special hazard bonuses, Israel’s fire department employs only 750 men throughout the country which, experts say, is about one-fifth the manpower needed. Firemen work long hours under severe pressure for which they are demanding extra pay.