Palestinian boy killed on Eid; parents donate organs to Israelis

From Palestine Monitor, Nov. 7:

Thursday, November 3, was the first day of the post-Ramadan Eid al-Fitr holidays, the feast of fast-breaking, a three-day festival of family visits, new clothes, gifts, and a break from work and school. On that day Ahmed al-Khatib, 12 years old, was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.

He was wearing his new holidays clothes and, according to some witnesses, playing with a plastic toy gun he had received as a holiday gift. Israeli soldiers who were in the area saw the boy from about 130 meters away and shot him twice, once in the torso and once in the head.

The soldiers claimed they thought the small boy, playing with other children at the time, was an armed gunman.

In critical condition, the boy was transferred from Jenin’s hospital to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where he was soon pronounced clinically dead.

Ahmed’s parents, stricken with grief, said that when their son left his home on Thursday morning, happy in his holiday clothes, they could never having imagined in their worst nightmares that it would be the last day of his life.

Ahmed’s father, after three days of staying with his dying child in the hospital and learning that Ahmed had no chance of survival, decided to donate the boy’s organs. A close family member of theirs had once died for lack of a kidney transplant, they said. The soldiers had chosen to take the life of their child, so they wished to donate life to other families.

Mr. Khatib said he hoped the gesture would speak to the conscience of all Israeli fathers and mothers so that they might work to end the cycles of violence and stop the crimes against Palestinian children. More than 700 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli soldiers in the past five years, and around 100 Israeli children have also been killed in the violence.

Six Israelis received Ahmed’s organs, including a twelve-year-old girl named Samah Gadban who had been waiting five years to receive a heart transplant.

Samah’s father told Haaretz, “I don’t know what to say. It is such a gesture of love… I would like for [the family] to think that my daughter is their daughter.”

Other recipients of Ahmed’s organs include a six-month-old baby, a 56-year-old woman, two five-year-old boys, and a four-year-old girl.

Mr. Khatib said he hoped to meet the recipients of his son’s organs, and he hoped that the gesture would be a step toward peace between peoples.

“I don’t mind seeing the organs in an Israeli or a Palestinian. In our religion, God allows us to give organs to another person and it doesn’t matter who the person is,” said Mr. Khatib.

His hope is that the donations will send a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians.

See also WW4 REPORT #28.

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