• Rafah

  • Thursday, June 6, 2024 at 7:45 AM
    Last Update : Sunday, June 9, 2024 at 11:58 AM

Israel’s Closure of Rafah Crossing Costs Palestinian Child his Leg

(AWP) - After he was critically injured in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza few weeks ago, Palestinian child Karim Abu Seido required urgent surgery to save his leg. However, the collapsed healthcare system and inadequate facilities in the Strip meant that doctors were left with no other choice but to have it amputated.

At one point he was on the verge of leaving the Gaza Strip for treatment abroad, but Israeli forces stormed the Rafah Crossing, preventing anyone from leaving or entering Gaza.

Recounting his bitter ordeal, Seido said, “I am Karim Hisham Mahmoud Abu Seido, a resident of Khan Yunis, al-Amal neighbourhood. I was injured at the door of our house along with my father, my mother, my sister, my grandmother, and my grandfather. We were transported from there by the Red Crescent to the hospital, where a decision to amputate my leg was made. However, after a successful surgical operation, I was transferred to the American Hospital where my leg became infected after surgery. I was then transferred to the Indonesian Hospital for a patch operation and then transferred to the European Hospital, but the condition of my leg deteriorated, and ulcers began to appear.”

He added from his bed at the European Hospital, “At that point, my name was on a list set to travel abroad for further treatment, but when everything was ready, the Israelis stormed the crossing. My leg was still there, but because the crossing was closed, my leg was amputated.”

The doctor treating Seido, Safaa Saqr, is convinced that his leg could have been saved had he been allowed to leave for treatment in an equipped and specialised hospital outside Gaza as planned.

She said, “His mother refused to have his leg amputated because she was certain that he would have the opportunity to travel for treatment outside the Gaza Strip. All arrangements were made, and an association undertook to cover travel and treatment expenses.”

“But on the night his name was listed to travel, the Israelis entered the crossing, and he was returned to the hospital [in Gaza],” she added.

His doctors were then forced to resort to the final and most difficult option, which was to amputate Karim's foot after his injury further deteriorated due to infection.

Nonetheless, the courageous young boy is still adamant that he can live normally and fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor.

He stressed, “I wanted to be a doctor, and now I want to be able to continue my treatment outside the Gaza Strip and get a prosthetic limb so that I can return and achieve my dream.”