Re: crippled

Do you ever post anything other than other people's stuff. This is supposed to be a discussion list, not your clipping file.

>>> cwduff@xxxxxxxxxxx 07/08/01 12:27 PM >>>
Guardian Tuesday May 1, 2001,4273,4178420,00.html

Mutilated children of a crippled Palestine
Suzanne Goldenberg

The Guardian's award-winning Middle East correspondent, Suzanne Goldenberg
reports on what
the fragmenting bullet has done to the children of the uprising

The beds of the four teenagers take up an entire wall at Wafa hospital in
Gaza. Tharif Ghora, 16,
was shot in the shoulder when he peeked over a barricade at the Karni border
crossing on
November 19. Hussein Na'ezi, also 16 and with Tharif a regular at the
confrontations with Israeli
soldiers at Karni, took a bullet in the neck the day before.

Ahmed Abu Taha, a stick-thin boy with almond eyes, the baby of the ward at
14, was running
from a tank in Rafah refugee camp on February 18 when a bullet penetrated
his back. Mahmoud
Sarhan, 16, was shot in the neck.

None of them will walk again. Hussein and Mahmoud will not even be able to
lower themselves
into wheelchairs because their injuries are higher up the spinal cord.

They - and 1,000 others - are the maimed of the intifada, with permanent
injuries which range
from a limp or the loss of an eye to paralysis and mental disability: a
harvest of mutilation which
far outstrips the death toll in the Palestinian uprising.

All four of the boys threw stones at Israeli soldiers and tanks - Tharif
used to detour past Karni on
his way home from school - and all four were unarmed.

They, like many of the other injured and dead, are the victims of what the
UN security council
and international and Israeli human right groups condemn as excessive use
of force by Israel
against the uprising, now in its seventh month.

A great deal of the criticism has focused on Israel's use of high-velocity
bullets fired from M-16
assault rifles. When these penetrate flesh they cartwheel through the body
with explosive force.

None of the four boys is aware that he will spend the rest of his life as
prisoner of his body. In his
hospital bed, a beaming Tharif is being fattened up with shwarma, the meat
sandwiches his
father sells at a roadside stall in Gaza City.

There is an involuntary twitch in his swollen left foot. "You see?" says his
father, Abid Ghora.
"One day, God willing, he will make a full recovery. Maybe if we can send
him to Germany, they
can do something for him."

The number of Palestinians left with some form of permanent disability by
this uprising is not
entirely clear. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, the
injured up to two days ago
numbered 13,296, 20% of the hit by bullets.

The Institute of Community and Public Health at Bir Zeit University, the
premier Palestinian
academic establishment, sifted through mounds of hospital records to arrive
at an estimate of at
least 1,000 people who will be permanently afflicted after being hit by
Israeli live fire, shrapnel, or
rubber-tipped steel bullets.

More than 400 of the injured have been treated for lasting disability at
three rehabilitation 12
centres in the West Bank and Gaza Strip - the only places of their kind for
a combined
population of 3m people - and at an eye hospital in occupied Arab East
Jerusalem. Five hundred
of the seriously injured have been treated abroad, including Tharif and
Hussein, who were sent to

In the West Bank town of Beit Jala, Elias Saba, a therapist at the Bethlehem
Arab Society for
Rehabilitation, is trying to coax a response from Amjed Saadi, 18.

"Marhaba," Dr Saba, says to him: hello in Arabic. Sitting in his wheelchair
with his right hand
clenhed in

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