Conflicts & War

Gaza recreation camp cheers summer of child amputees

Gaza, Aug 3 (EFE).- A Gaza summer camp is organizing several recreational and sporting activities to brighten up the summer season for some 80 children and youngsters, most of whom have lost a limb during military campaigns in the Gaza strip, including the flare-up in May that resulted in 66 Gazan minors dead and four amputees.

Saleh Humeid, one of the youngest amputees, has joined the five-day camp organized by Palestine Children’s Relief Fund to cheer him through a tough summer, as he still struggles to accept the poignant reality of his injuries.

The 7-year-old lost his right leg in an Israeli airstrike that caught him, his father and his brothers by surprise as they were purchasing bread on 11 May.

“I didn’t know what happened, I just heard a huge explosion, fell unconscious,” Saleh told Efe. “Then I woke up in the hospital to find that my right leg was amputated.”

The recent escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza’s militias caused the death of 13 people in Israel and 260 in Gaza, including 66 minors killed within the strip, according to the United Nations. Some 610 Gazan children were injured.

The first camp dedicated to child amputees in Gaza according to the NGO also welcomes children and youngsters who have suffered mutilations from accidents.

Mohamed Aliwa lost his leg during the 2018 Great March of Return that left 273 people dead and 16,000 injured, some 124 of which lost a limb.

His condition, however, has not prevented the 20-year-old from trying to enjoy the summer at the camp, where he can play soccer, his favorite sport, thanks to a prosthetic leg.

The activities allow him to blow off steam, he told Efe, in an environment that provides a change of scenery, tension relief and where the young people can share their trauma.

According to Hadeel Al-Saqqa, coordinator of the project, the camp serves as an “outlet” to cheer up young people who have suffered from violence in Gaza. EFE

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