The Israeli shooting left me paralyzed


I’ve had more operations than I can remember. My most recent operations are on the bedsores on my backside; doctors have given up any hope of surgery to allow me to walk again.

Three years ago, I was visiting an aunt in Bureij, central Gaza. She lives in the eastern area. Her house is about 500m from the border (Green Line) fence.

A cousin and I were outside, on land next to her home. We often sat out there.

Israeli soldiers started shooting at us, from the other side of the fence on the border. I was hit twice, with live ammunition. The Israeli soldiers ordered us to come to fence, and we did because we were afraid of more shooting.

When we got close to the fence, they ordered us to strip off our clothes. Then they ordered us to climb the fence and jump to the other side. I had been shot and was feeling very weak, bleeding. I fell to the ground. An Israeli soldier asked if I could stand. I raised my arm saying no. An Israeli soldier shot me again, a third time, just under my armpit.

A second cousin had joined us; he’d come to us when he heard the shooting. The Israeli soldiers ordered my two cousins to jump the fence.

One of my cousins was badly injured: he’d been shot multiple times in the leg and once in his abdomen. I lay on the ground, bleeding, as the Israeli soldiers took my two cousins away.

I was there, bleeding, for about 4 hours before Palestinian medics received coordination to come to the fence to help me.

The cousin who was shot many times didn’t receive treatment. The Israelis just put a bandage over his wounds and gave him painkillers. They kept him and my other cousin many days. When my cousins were finally released, my injured cousin’s leg was rotten with infection. The lower half of one leg had to be amputated.

Doctors were afraid to try to remove the bullet in my cousin’s abdomen, afraid it would cause much internal bleeding. Recently, a doctor from outside Gaza came and was able to remove the bullet.

I should have bled to death; somehow I lived.

I lost a kidney, two vertebrae were shattered, and am paralyzed from the waist down. I’ll never walk again.

My name is Sari. I was just 16 when the Israeli soldiers shot me.

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