The Israeli parliament was thrown into an uproar Wednesday as the doctors' hunger strike spread and forced large hospitals in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Safed to close.
The speaker adjourned the debate on the doctors' four-month pay dispute to let tempers cool. When it resumed, Health Minister Eliezer Shostak called on the doctors to end their strike.
With some 2,000 of Israel's 7,000 government physicians on a hunger strike, Israel's medical services are collapsing under the strain. The doctors said a pay offer made Tuesday was well below their demands.