GAZA CITY: Thaer Gouda’s aunt carefully caresses his forehead, trying to avoid the deep cuts and bruises caused by shrapnel.
The 8-year-old lies unconscious in Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, still unaware that an Israeli airstrike on his home in the northern Jabalia town two days earlier has left him disabled and orphaned.
“He still doesn’t know that his right leg and some of his fingers have been amputated,” Gouda’s aunt told Anadolu Agency through her tears.
“The last thing he remembers was playing in the yard with his mother and siblings,” she said.
Gouda’s mother and four of his five siblings – the oldest of whom was 11 – were blown to pieces when an Israeli airstrike targeted their home in Jabalia, the aunt recounted.
She broke into tearful prayers and supplications as a doctor rushed in to check up on Gouda, whose chest was rapidly rising and falling.
“What has this child done to deserve to become a disabled orphan?” she asked. “Israel is waging a war on our children.”
There are over 100 families that have had virtually all their members killed during Israel’s weeks-long offensive in the embattled Gaza Strip, according to a report that was issued recently by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Thousands of Palestinian children have lost one or both of their parents to Israel’s strikes, which began July 7.
Geneva-based watchdog Euro-Mid Observatory for Human Rights said that its teams in the blockaded coastal enclave had registered 3,000 cases of children who had sustained injuries during the Israeli offensive.
It also said that at least one-third of the children who had been injured had suffered permanent disabilities.