Gaza war victims treated in Jerusalem hospitals

Jerusalem - Doctors and aid agencies are trying to capitalise on a truce in Gaza to evacuate more wounded Palestinians for life-saving medical treatment in east Jerusalem, Israel and Jordan.

More than 9 500 Palestinians were wounded during four weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to Gaza health officials.

Ninety of some of the most serious cases have been evacuated through the Erez border crossing since the conflict began, according to Guy Inbar, spokesperson for COGAT which is part of the Israeli defence ministry.

He said the wounded had been sent to Israel and Jordan from an Israeli field hospital at Erez.

Medics and the Red Crescent told AFP that two patients were sent to the Arab Israeli town of Nazareth and dozens of others to three hospitals in east Jerusalem.

Four-year-old Shayma al-Masri has been a patient at St Joseph's in east Jerusalem for two weeks.

She is still exhausted and still in pain.

Her spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines have all been damaged by shrapnel that pierced her small chest and tore through her body, before exiting from her side.

When the clouds clear

Her only companion from Gaza is her aunt. But she knows where her dead family are.

"My mother, brother and sister went up to the sun, they will return to me when the clouds clear," she says.

Bound to her bed by a network of tubes nourishing and sustaining her, she was seriously wounded in an Israeli missile attack on Beit Hanun, north of Gaza City.

The family were hit as they fled in terror from an attack on their neighbourhood during which their home was bombed. Her mother Sahar, 17-year-old sister Asil and brother Mohammed, aged 15, were killed instantly.

Her father is being treated separately at hospital in Gaza.

She cries out, calling for him.

"We were bombarded from the air, sea and land," says her aunt Samah. "Everything turned into destruction. We ran away to the school, they bombed the school."

Shayma's room is full of Palestinians from east Jerusalem who have come to show their solidarity with Gaza by visiting the wounded.

During the feast of Eid al-Fitr which ended the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, they bought food, sweets and new clothes, as well as dolls and games for the children.

Easing the pressure

"We are trying to use the 72-hour ceasefire to get more cases from Gaza to ease the pressure there," says Dr Maher Deeb, head of St Joesph's hospital.

His hospital is treating 25 Gazans evacuated by aid agencies in coordination with Israel, which has also set up a medical unit at Erez.

"We're working round the clock. Fifty percent of the cases are critical. Even the stable cases are complicated and need long-term treatment," Deeb tells AFP.

Most of those sent to his hospital have multiple injuries from missile and rocket attacks, he says.

Deeb's hospital also received wounded Palestinians during Israel's previous operations in Gaza in 2008 and 2012, but this time there have been more patients.

"We had these cases before but we have a larger quantity and of a more complicated nature than before."

At Maqased hospital on the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem, telecoms worker Khamis Zaki Abu Hasira is one of the patients being treated.

The father of four was wounded by shrapnel in Sheikh Ijleen in western Gaza City.

Leg amputated twice

He told AFP how along with two other colleagues he was setting up a position for telecoms company Jawwal, when they heard an explosion at a friend's house nearby.

Rushing there to see the damage, they stepped out of their company car when Abu Hasira heard the blood-curdling screech of a rocket.

"We were sure we were about to be killed, and said our prayers," he recalls, just before a rocket hit them, cutting off his right leg and breaking his arm, as well as causing problems in his stomach.

In Gaza, doctors amputated his leg twice - first below the knee and then above it.

When he arrived in Jerusalem, doctors removed it entirely.

His skin has yellow-green markings from the shrapnel, and he moans, unable to find relief from the pain plaguing his shattered body.

A four-year-old Palestinian boy and his father enter Abu Hasira's room. The father lifts his son, they lean over the bed, and the child kisses Abu Hasira.

Read more on: hamas palestine israel gaza
Likeitis 2014-08-07 06:36:00 PM
Merciless Zionists!
Sviatoslav Igorevich 2014-08-07 06:51:43 PM
And they are very stupid trying to take on the world believing they will get away with it..
Ziyaad Zizoo 2014-08-07 06:59:05 PM
And they maintain all this is for self defence of Israel. The masses are ignorant and stupid yo belive this when clearly civilians including women, children and babies are the victims.
Cyberfriend 2014-08-07 07:19:25 PM
We pray that the Almighty grant the,the woman ,children ,fathers mothers and all the victims of Gaza contentment and speedy recovery and those that passed away a high a abode in the hereafter.
Kayla 2014-08-07 08:53:32 PM
Israel wounded them, Israel must fix them. Israel destroyed their homes, Israel must rebuild it. And that Hamas human shield story is getting old and boring. Besides, surely Israel has the fanciest and snazziest military equipment which can filter out tunnels and homemade rockets without the need to bomb a village? Find another method of "self defense" and target around the "shield" like real men would.
Carina Marx 2014-08-07 10:25:43 PM
I wouldn't let them near any hospital of mine. Why aren't they welcomed at any of the close proximity Arab nations.....I wonder !
Godfather458 2014-08-08 12:12:50 AM
We clearly have some very naive people commenting on this article , have you read the article where innocent kids bodies torn apart with Israel military ? You claim human shields ? Have you any idea how small and densely populated Gaza is ? Where do you expect them to run and hide when they have a wall 3 times higher then the Berlin Wall ? Hospitals , schools , power stations all bombed and destroyed and you still say Hamas is @ fault .Do not be so stupid , wake up and take note that Israel is a apartheid state and has murdered innocent woman and kids and as long as you support them you are as guilty as well for killing those kids .