His household was killed in an airstrike. Now this orphaned boy is getting a uncommon likelihood to go away Gaza


Israel’s assaults on Gaza took away virtually every little thing that Yahya Hamad had ever recognized.   

The nine-year-old’s dad and mom, sister and two brothers had been killed when a rocket flattened the Gaza house close to Khan Younis the place they’d been sheltering in early February.   

Yahya barely survived, however he was buried beneath crushed brick and concrete, shattering a number of bones in his legs and arms.

For the final month, amid intensifying Israeli assaults, he has been recuperating in a Rafah hospital, however medical doctors there stated his accidents are so extreme that they would not be capable of do rather more to assist him. 

Getting out of Gaza — even for the badly injured — is very tough, involving a prolonged bureaucratic course of with no assure of success on the finish.

WATCH | Orphaned Palestinian boy prepares for journey out of Gaza: 

Boy orphaned in Gaza hopes to reunite with household in Canada

WARNING: This story comprises distressing photographs | A Palestinian boy in Gaza who was orphaned and severely injured in an Israeli airstrike is now being transferred to a hospital in Egypt. Out of the warzone, he hopes to seek out his household in Canada, however obstacles stay for him and plenty of others in related conditions.

However final week, after a month of ready, the little boy lastly received some excellent news — together with some hope. Palestinian well being officers, together with Hamas — which administers hospitals in Gaza, the federal government of Egypt and Israel’s army, all agreed to let the little boy depart the territory to get therapy in Egypt.

It is the primary stage in an extended journey that might presumably culminate with him getting a brand new house in Canada.

“I am blissful to be going overseas for therapy,” Yahya instructed a videographer working for CBC Information in Rafah.

“I wish to see my uncle in Canada.”

Yahad Hamad on a stretcher in the ambulance that is taking him out of Gaza,  to Egypt.
Palestinian well being officers, the federal government of Egypt and Israel’s army, all agreed to let Yahya depart the territory to get therapy in Egypt. (Mohamed El Saife/CBC Information)

For all that Yahya has misplaced, having the ability to depart Gaza shouldn’t be an choice that is out there to many.     

Dr. Jabr Al-Shaer, who oversees the switch of sufferers out of Rafah’s Al Najjar hospital to Egypt, says the method is cumbersome and might typically take weeks to get permission, even for severely injured sufferers.

He instructed CBC Information in an interview that there are “1000’s” of individuals wounded by Israeli assaults that require higher care than his hospital can present, however only some are ever authorised to go away — and even then the logistics of getting them out causes but extra delays.

Yahya’s ‘unsure’ journey

Earlier this week, employees fastidiously transferred Yahya from his hospital mattress right into a wheelchair after which into the again of an ambulance for the trip to the Rafah crossing and onwards to a hospital within the Egyptian border city of Arish.   

What occurs to him subsequent, and the place he’ll go, is unsure.

Yahya in a Rafah hospital in the aftermath of the Israeli air strike that killed his entire family.
Yahya has been in a Rafah hospital because the Israeli air strike that killed his whole household. (Mohamed El Saife/CBC Information)

His uncle Maher Hamad lives in Montreal and has been in frequent contact with the boy and one other relative who’s travelling with him.

“From the attitude of his emotional state and the state of affairs he was residing in, this [Yahya leaving] is an effective factor,” Hamad instructed CBC Information in an interview.

However resettling him in Canada will probably be difficult.

Ottawa’s Gaza Household Reunification program has to date not been in a position to assist anybody who has managed to flee the territory come to Canada.   

Smoke rises following an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 27, 2024.
Smoke rises following an Israeli strike, amid the continued battle between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, within the southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. (Ahmed Zakot /REUTERS)

Though there are theoretically spots in this system for 1,000 folks, the problem of getting out of Gaza has rendered this system ineffective. 

An electronic mail from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship stated 32 individuals who’ve managed to go away Gaza have been given approval to come back to Canada, nevertheless it’s not clear that any have truly been in a position to make the journey.

$40K in medical payments

Though Yahya has cleared the large hurdle of having the ability to depart, different main obstacles stay.  

In his case, it is the large value of his medical payments, which must be borne by his Canadian sponsor, his uncle.

“His full medical prices is not going to be coated by the [Canadian] authorities however by me,” stated Hamad. “Medical prices in Canada usually are not low cost.” 

In an earlier interview, the household estimated they wanted to seek out $40,000 to cowl the boy’s therapy and restoration. Up to now, a GoFundMe web page arrange by supporters has raised $1,850.

The border crossing between Rafah,  Gaza and Egypt.
The border crossing between Rafah, Gaza and Egypt. (Mohamed El Saife/CBC New)

There could also be different non-Canadian choices for Yahya, nonetheless, which will make extra sense economically. 

“4 nations are accepting injured folks [from Gaza]: Egypt, Emirates, Qatar and Turkey,” stated Hamad. “They get them out and canopy [medical] prices in full.”

Hamad has one other brother in Turkey so, no less than initially, the choice of Yahya going there could make extra sense.  

The little boy is travelling with a distant aunt, Raja Hamad, who’s unwell herself and unable to take care of the boy in the long run. 

“We’re in touch and everybody tells me God keen they are going to assist Yahya,” she instructed CBC Information.  

Humanitarian officers frightened

With Israel threatening to launch a floor invasion of the densely packed Rafah space, humanitarian officers are particularly frightened in regards to the destiny of 600,000 different youngsters who’re crowded collectively, residing in tents and short-term shelters.

UNICEF spokesperson James Elder, who’s in Rafah now, stated if any heavy preventing or intense air assaults happen in Rafah, it should create a “massacre,” with youngsters bearing the brunt of the casualties.

“It is a metropolis of kids,” stated Elder. “It truly is. It is heaving with youngsters.

UNICEF estimates no less than 17,000 Palestinian youngsters have both been orphaned by the battle or left with none shut family.

Displaced Palestinian children wait to receive free food at a tent camp, amid food shortages, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, February 27, 2024.
Displaced Palestinian youngsters wait to obtain free meals at a tent camp, amid meals shortages in Rafah, in February. (Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/REUTERS)

In an e-mail trade with CBC Information, the UN company stated it doesn’t know what number of orphaned or injured youngsters from Gaza have been in a position to exit the battle zone.   

One of many largest relocations occurred on March 11, when Palestinian authorities in Gaza agreed to switch 68 orphans run by the NGO SOS Kids’s Village to a safer facility within the West Financial institution.

Well being officers in Gaza say greater than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed throughout Israel’s retaliation to the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas, the place round 1,200 folks had been killed in southern Israel.

UN businesses estimate no less than 12,300 of the Palestinians who’ve been killed are youngsters. 

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