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Gaza: Prosthetic Limb Workshop Struggles to Keep Up with Demand from IDF Shooting Unarmed Protests

IMAGE: Anas Minerawi holds his amputated limb, at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

By Ahmad Kabariti

Sitting on a white sheet on a bed in Gaza City, Anas Minerawi, a 26-year-old civil engineer/trainee, reimagines noon of last May 18th, when “everything turned into completely grayish-white mixed with gibberish noise”.

“I felt like something very painful was going out of my chest,” Anas stammered.

He had been shot by Israeli fire during the weekly protest east of Gaza city on the border with Israel. He told me:

“That was the first time I went to the protest, at nearly 200 meters away from the fence. I stumbled and fell down when I turned my back to go home. Suddenly I found myself lying on a bed and being gripped by nurses’ hands to prevent me to move. It seemed I have spent weeks or years wandering in my mind. It was like a thriller movie had captured your senses.”

Later, a nurse told Anas that his mangled lower left leg was connected to the upper leg by only an inch of flesh. After he underwent two surgeries and months of bandaging, muscle exercises and physical therapy, he was ready for a prosthesis.

IMAGE: Prostheses at at the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City, photo by Mohammed Asad.

He got one from the Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City. According to Mohammed Dwema, director of the center, production and working hours at the workshop have more than doubled since the protests began at the Gaza fence last March. The center is able to produce 15 to 20 prosthetic limbs monthly.

Israel has killed more than 200 protesters and injured more than 18,000. At least 90 of the wounded have had limbs amputated. The Gaza demonstrators are demanding that Israel end its siege on the territory that is home to about 2 million Palestinians. It is an enclave about twice the size of metropolitan Washington, D.C., wedged by Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Both countries have kept their borders with Gaza largely closed and have restricted imports and exports since Hamas took control of Gaza 12 years ago.

Yards away from Anas, Baha’a Abu Ayyad, 21 and unemployed, was practicing walking with his new prosthetic leg on asphalt and gravel paths. He was shot four days before Anas was shot in the same area as he sought to evacuate a wounded girl near the fence…

Continue this story at Mondoweiss

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files




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