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Palestinians wounded in Gaza desperate for Rafah crossing to reopen

Palestinians wounded in Gaza desperate for Rafah crossing to reopen
16 May 2024 08:52

DEIR AL-BALAH (Reuters)

Ni’ma Ali Imad is desperate to get her wounded son Mohammed out of Gaza for the medical treatment that doctors say they cannot provide in the Palestinian enclave.

Five-year-old Mohammed lost his sight and suffered a head wound during Israeli shelling. But, like many other wounded Palestinians, he is stuck in a Gaza hospital waiting because the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt is closed.

The closure has not only left foreign aid piling up on the Egyptian side of the border as a humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens, but it has also shut down a vital evacuation route for people in Gaza needing urgent medical care abroad.

Gaza’s medical system has virtually collapsed under Israel’s bombardment, witnesses say, and Palestinian doctors say they are not equipped to help Mohammed Imad regain his sight and treat his head wound.

“The doctors here did what they could, but we still need the official sides [authorities] to cooperate with us and open the border crossing, because this is a child, and we would want him to live like other children in the world,” Ni’ma Ali said at Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza.

“We hope that you will be able to open the Rafah border crossing for the humanitarian cases, so that they can receive treatment, and be provided with medication, so the boy can once again see with his eyes.”

Among those at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital hoping to be treated abroad is Abdul Rahim Al-Ayoubi, who said he was hit in the leg, pelvis and hand by Israeli tank fire.

“Until now, I am suffering from the pain. I do not have any treatment,” he said. “My leg was amputated from my pelvis and I had ulcers in the hospital here, in my back, and everyone says that there is no treatment for me at all here.”
Like many other wounded Palestinians, Ahmad Abu Amro, who said he was critically wounded at a checkpoint in mid-February, feels abandoned

“No one is paying attention to us. Our only solution is for the border to open, and we can travel and get treatment. We are not asking for more than that,” he said at the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.

The hospital’s spokesman, Khalil Al-Dakran, said reopening the border was vitally important.

“We reaffirm our appeal to the free world and international community to open the border and to send medical teams, medication, medical supplies and fuel,” he said.

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