Palestinian Doctor Recalls Son's Death After Being Shot By IDF Troops

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A Palestinian father shared his story of how his son, who was shot by Israeli soldiers during the March of Return protests, slowly died in front of his eyes.

The death toll from the March of Return protests is far from over. 

In fact, it has been steadily rising since its official end on May 15, according to Al Jazeera.

Several of the protesters injured during the demonstrations have lost the battle of life over the past two months.

Twenty two-year-old Sari al-Shobaki was one of them and he died a slow, painful death, in front of his father, who is a retired doctor.

In a heart-wrenching interview to Middle East Eye, Dr. Dahoud al-Shobaki recalled how his son, wounded as a result of Israeli firepower.

Dahoud retired from medical practice and works as a public health consultant in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Sari did various odd jobs to make a living, sometimes by selling carbonated drinks or working at a photo studio in the neighborhood of Daraj.

However, on May 14, his father narrated, Sari left his house without saying anything.

May 14 was the deadliest day of violence during the March of Return, the demonstrations that took place alongside the Israel-Gaza border.

Within a matter of a few hours, Israeli soldiers killed at least 58 Palestinians.
    
Dozens were seriously injured. Sari was one of them.

Israeli soldiers had shot Sari in the neck. The bullet lodged into his spinal cord, rendering him paralyzed.

When Dahoud reached the hospital, he found his wounded son "bleeding alone" in a corner, marked "unidentified."

Sari couldn't be treated in Gaza due to lack of proper health care in Gaza, thanks to the Israeli siege. Sometimes, hospitals in Gaza are reportedly left reliant on emergency generators for up to 20 hours a day, due to an ongoing electricity crisis.

The father then decided to take his son under his care.

He managed to get his son treated within limited resources in Gaza and tried to get him transferred to East Jerusalem.

However, Israel's policies make it very difficult for Gazans to do so.

Dahoud remained defiant and managed to get a permit and on May 25, they were allowed to go to East Jerusalem.
 
There Dahoud worked relentlessly to help his son recover. He tried out exercises along with medicine. 

"I will be happy even with only your eyes with me, even without your body," Dahoud recalled telling his son, during his interview. "I do not ask for more."

The care helped the 22-year-old recover. But on July 17, Sari died. He became the 142nd Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces in Gaza since March 30,  according to the Gaza health ministry.

"I wish that I had been able to save my son's life like I am used to ... but the eighth time, it was God's decree," Dahoud told Middle East Eye.

Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

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