Re: crippled

Thank you for the post.

At 12:21 PM 7/8/01 -0400, you wrote:
>Guardian Tuesday May 1, 2001
>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 rights 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
>clenched in a fist, Mr. Saadi grunts twice in reply.
>The doctor asks him to put a hand on his nose; Mr. Saadi shades his eyes.
>Mr. Saadi was shot in the head with a high velocity bullet fired by an
>Israeli soldier on October 2,
>in the first few days of the intifada. He woke from his coma five weeks ago
>with permanent brain
>damage. His eyes are alert but spinal fluid is collecting in a bulge on the
>side of his head, and he
>will need more surgery.
>Human rights groups have condemned Israel for relying heavily on live
>ammunition, rather than
>non-lethal force, and for shooting when its soldiers' lives are not in
>The Nobel prize-winning US group Physicians for Human Rights blames the
>widespread use of
>the M-16 automatic rifle for the high rate of crippling Palestinian
>injuries. The American-designed
>weapon is standard issue for Israeli troops.
>Daniel Reisner, a colonel in the advocate general's office of the Israeli
>army, admits that some
>soldiers have broken the undisclosed rules on opening fire.
>"Did all cases in which Israeli army soldiers shoot Palestinians involve
>live fire incidents? I don't
>think so," he said. "Could it be that some soldiers reacted with more fire
>than I would have used
>in hindsight? Maybe. Some of the reports seem to indicate that."
>The chief of staff, General Shauf Mofaz, told commanders last month to
>investigate every fatal
>shooting of a Palestinian by Israeli soldiers in circumstances where there
>was no previous
>exchange of fire. The army is making criminal investigations in six such
>Col Reisner argues that many of the soldiers - like a third of the 370
>Palestinians killed to date -
>are practically children themselves. "These are kids out of high school. We
>train them, but we
>can not make them adults in a day.
>"In a lot of the incidents with the Palestinians there has been talk about
>children doing the
>fighting, and that they were sending 16-year-olds to throw stones or
>firebombs. We were sending
>18-year-olds, only ours are lawful.
>"The general staff can give orders, but at the end of the day the person
>that has to carry out
>those orders is a 20-year-old kid, and that is in a good situation, with a
>22-year-old commanding
>office, and a 25-year-old company commander."
>The results - particularly when M-16s are used - are devastating. Other
>high-speed ammunition
>passes cleanly through the body, but a lightweight 5.56mm bullet from an
>M-16 tends to tumble
>and spin after it penetrates the flesh at a speed of more than 800 metres a

>second. Then it
>breaks up into tiny metal fragments.
>"They move like an insect, buzzing around your body, said Dr Jumaa Saqqa,
>spokesman for the
>Shifa hospital in Gaza City, where the territory's worst injuries are
>"On the outside of the body you just see a small inlet - one centimetre big
>- but if there is no exit
>we find hundreds of small metallic pieces inside."
>Most of the new disabled were hurt during the first three months of the
>uprising. Hailed as heroes
>in the early days, and handed cheques for up to $1,000 (700) afterwards,
>they are now in danger
>of being abandoned on the outer margins of a society on the verge of
>economic collapse, and
>itself crippled by a corrupt and undemocratic leadership.
>"Most of these injured are relatively young," said Mohammed Abu Tair, an
>specialist at Mukassad hospital in Jerusalem, "the potential labour force -
>the power of society
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