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Injured Palestinian girl, Rahaf, heads to Turkiye for treatment

August 17, 2022 at 3:28 pm

A view of destruction after Israeli attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on August 7, 2022. [Abed Rahim Khatib – Anadolu Agency]

An 11-year-old Palestinian girl and her brother, who have been injured in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, left the territory on Wednesday for treatment in Turkiye, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Palestinian girl Rahaf Salman, 11, lost her limbs after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza, 9 August 2022 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images]

Palestinian girl Rahaf Salman, 11, lost her limbs in airstrikes carried out by Israel in Gaza, 9 August 2022 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images]

The trip of the Palestinian children, accompanied by their parents, has been organised upon instructions from Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Palestinian family left the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing into Egypt, where they will board a plane from Cairo International Airport to Turkiye.

On 6 August, Rahaf, 11, and Mohammed, 13, were injured by shrapnel from an Israeli missile that struck the town of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, according to their father, Khalil Salman.

Rahaf’s feet and right hand had to be amputated.

She also suffered an abdominal injury, broken collarbone and dislocated shoulder.

Her brother was injured by shrapnel in the pelvis and chest. He also had a broken knee and suffered a hand injury, his mother said.

On 9 August, Palestinian group, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, announced that Erdogan agreed to provide medical attention to Rahaf in Turkiye.

“We were informed through a call from Hamas chief, Ismail Haniyeh that the Turkish President agreed to treat Rahaf in Turkiye and, accordingly Hamas representatives engaged in contact with relevant Turkish authorities to complete her travel procedures,” Salman said.

“This approval came after an appeal made by Rahaf to Turkiye to agree to receive her for treatment,” he added.

The Palestinian father said, upon their arrival at Cairo airport, “a private Turkish plane will be waiting for them to transport the two children to a hospital in the capital, Ankara.”

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He expressed his hope that the two wounded children would receive the necessary health care to enjoy their lives with self-reliance.

“Rahaf needs very special health care, whether the installation of limbs for her feet or hand, or the provision of a suitable environment so that she can live with her new physical condition,” the father said.

He pointed out that his child also needs “psychological treatment after her exposure to psychological stress following the injury, which led to excessive anxiety and irritability.”

He thanked the Turkish President and government for standing by his family and his daughter.

On 5 August, the Israeli army launched a three-day military operation in the Gaza Strip, targeting Islamic Jihad group.

At least 49 Palestinians were killed, including 17 children, and hundreds injured in the offensive, which came to a halt under an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire.