10-year-old kidney patient, separated from family in Gaza, fears he won't see them again

His father was arrested by Israeli forces while he was taking the boy to a hospital

By Reuters

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An aerial view shows Palestinians inspecting the damage at the Al Maghazi refugee camp after an overnight Israeli strike. — AFP
An aerial view shows Palestinians inspecting the damage at the Al Maghazi refugee camp after an overnight Israeli strike. — AFP

Published: Mon 25 Dec 2023, 6:31 PM

Nassem Mohra, a 10-year-old kidney patient, fears he may never see his family again after Israeli forces arrested his father while he was taking the boy to a hospital in southern Gaza for urgent dialysis treatment.

A neighbour brought Nassem, who needs regular dialysis treatment, to Abu Yousef Al Najjar hospital in Rafah on Sunday after the boy was separated from his relatives amid continued heavy Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

"I am afraid to die before seeing my family and relatives, and my siblings," Nassem said, hooked up to a dialysis machine.

"I want the war to end so we can go back to our homes and I will be back to my normal life," he said, adding he had not seen his mother in weeks.

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The neighbour, Adel Haniyeh, said he had been travelling south through Gaza with his own children when he recognised Nassem and agreed to take care of him. The boy's father had been arrested at an Israeli army checkpoint, he said.

"The boy is in a bad condition. He needs special food, his situation is very bad. We sleep at a mosque, and we come here (daily) on donkey carts," Haniyeh said, describing how they had to wait in line for hours to access the dialysis treatment.

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The Palestinian Red Crescent has said Israeli bombardment of main roads across Gaza has seriously hindered the passage of ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

Doctors at the hospital in Rafah, near the Egyptian border, said fuel shortages and insufficient medical supplies were making working conditions there very difficult.

"We have 17 beds for dialysis, normally serving 120 patients, but now 350 patients are having to use these beds," said Doctor Ihab Masher, head of the kidney dialysis department, adding that overuse of the devices was causing them to malfunction on a daily basis.

"Unfortunately we lose patients everyday," said Masher. "I hope God will end all this and that the situation will soon improve."

Israel has besieged the narrow Gaza Strip and laid much of it to waste since October 7.


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