A Palestinian boy named Mohammed Al-Farra, now 3 1/2, was born in Khan Younis, Gaza with a genetic disease which led to amputations of his feet and hands, and left him with a compromised immune system and other debilitating conditions.
Though the boy naturally became completely dependent on others, his parents abandoned him and the Palestinian government refused to pay for his medical care. So, he now lives at Safra Children’s Hospital, in the Israeli city of Ramat Gan, where doctors began treating him when he was just an infant.
Mohammed spends his days undergoing treatment, getting around in a tiny wheelchair and learning how to use prosthetic limbs – and is cared for by his 55-year-old grandfather, Hamouda. The Israeli doctors have reportedly grown quite attached to the boy, and fundraise to cover the cost of his care, and which also allows him and his grandfather to live in the pediatric ward.
A recent report on the young disabled Palestinian boy in AP noted the following, which, though quite moving, wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has spent any time in Israeli hospitals.
On a recent day at the children’s hospital, patients and medics chatted in Hebrew and Arabic. Women in Muslim headscarves strolled in a corridor. An Orthodox Jewish woman affectionately patted Mohammed on his head. She nodded kindly at al-Farra.
In 2012, Israeli authorities approved 91.5 percent of applications from Gaza to receive medical care in Israel, a year in which a total of 219,469 Palestinian patients from the West Bank and Gaza received treatment in Israeli hospitals – a number which includes over 20,000 children.