Palestine: Gaza, one year after the protests’ bloodiest day

15 May 2019
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Occupied Palestinian Territory

On 14 May 2018, the Israeli army shot more than 1,300 Palestinians, killing 60 of them, during the bloodiest day of the weekly protests by the fence between Gaza and Israel. A year later, many of those injured are still struggling with the devastating consequences of their wounds. Their hopes to find adequate treatment are fading, and people are stuck in painful limbo while the effects of their injuries take an ever greater toll on them and their loved ones.

In a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic in Gaza, Palestine, the Singaporean anaesthetist uses Arabic vocabulary that is unusual for a foreigner: “electricity, knife, burning, tingling?” The patient, Murad, 26, gestured towards his left leg, encased in a metal cage, to show the doctor where the different sensations erupted. Electricity and stabbing pains were worst just above his foot, discoloured and cold to the touch, the veins constricted after a year of pain.

“The injury has destroyed me,” Murad says. “I was going out to work before, repairing satellite dishes, but now I can’t, and no one has reached out to help me.”

Murad was one of more than 1,300 people shot with live ammunition by the Israeli army on the bloodiest day of protests along the fence that separates Israel from Gaza on 14 May 2018. Sixty people were killed on that day. It was a bloodbath, with hospitals throughout Gaza overwhelmed by an incredible number of wounded. A year on and many are still suffering: legs missing too much bone to heal, infections setting in, the uncertainty and pain overwhelming.

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