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UK urged to admit 11 Gaza children hurt in the war for urgent treatment | World News

Kareem saw the tanks and yelled. His mother and sister ran outside to find him, and then the tank fired.

The pain was so excruciating that Kareem begged the doctors to amputate his leg.

Because of the war, they had to do it without an anaesthetic. His screams were so loud that people on the floor above thought someone was giving birth.

“My husband, daughter, Kareem and I were all injured,” explains his mother.

Kareem has had infections in his bones and now weighs only 4st

Kareem’s doctor says he could die if he isn’t taken abroad for treatment

“My husband lost his eyesight and is currently awaiting treatment. His intestines are damaged. Kareem underwent surgery on the upper part of his body.

“The flesh around his leg is completely gone, leaving only the bone. Meanwhile, I have splinters in my eye.”

The 14-year-old boy, who was top of his class and dreamt of owning his own bike, now thinks he will never ride one again.

Kareem is suffering massive weight loss and is now only 26kg (4st 1lb), unable to move far and has had infections in his bones.

“Kareem reached a state of despair; he lacked the energy to engage in conversation,” says his mother.

“Every time I tried to talk to him, he would lash out at me. When the crossings closed, his dreams were shattered.

“Even the faint glimmer of hope we had was gone. We were left with nothing.”

Kareem’s mother says he reached a ‘state of despair’ after his awful injuries

“His condition is deteriorating every day,” says his doctor, Saeed.

“He is at risk of losing his life due to the scarcity of medical supplies and the many difficulties we face as a medical team in this department.

“We cannot adequately treat these cases here. This patient needs to be transferred out of Gaza.”

Kareem is being treated in hospitals suffering a chronic shortages of medical supplies

Two British charities, Project Pure Hope and Save A Child, have written to the UK foreign and home secretaries asking them to give approval for Kareem and 10 other children to travel to the UK for specialist treatment.

The charities have experience taking other children for care outside Gaza.

“If they are able to enter the United Kingdom for a finite period in order to receive the treatments needed, it is our assessment that their prospects of surviving in the first instance, and securing a good quality of life, will be materially enhanced,” the letter says.

Money for their travel and medical costs has already been raised.

Their stay in Britain would only be temporary, for the course of their treatment – it just needs the British government to sign it off, but they have not done so.

Other European countries, including France, Italy and Switzerland, have accepted children from Gaza for medical care.

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“We are assured that, once again, the UK has the expertise and centres to effectively treat and manage these children’s injuries, and that these are not available immediately in the local region,” continues the letter to Lord Cameron and James Cleverly.

‘She wakes up screaming’

Two-year-old Zeina is also on the evacuation list. She was injured in a fire after an airstrike on the camp she was living in.

More than a fifth of her small body is covered in second and third-degree burns.

Her thighs, the palms of her hands, her chest, back, neck, face and forehead are all burnt.

“One day, at approximately 2.30pm I went to get bread,” says her father Noor.

“When I came back, my wife was wailing and screaming that Zeina was injured. I asked her what happened, and she told me that there was a strike on the refugee camp while she was cooking, and Zeina started running around and fell into the fire.”

Zeina’s had 16 operations in just two months, on average one every three or four days. It’s amazing she survived.

These children are not just suffering physical pain, they are experiencing deep trauma too. There is no escape for them.

“Her pain keeps getting worse, and sometimes she wakes up screaming at night,” Noor says.

Zeina’s father says she is traumatised and her pain is getting worse

“Whenever she sees someone in a medical uniform, she panics and starts screaming. She is always afraid, and sometimes she can’t control her urine.

“This wasn’t a problem before her injury; it only started after the surgeries.

“It has gotten so bad that she sometimes wets herself out of fear,” says her father. “She only feels safe with her mother and me; it is as though she is dealing with trauma now.”

The hospitals, so damaged by the fighting, cannot give the children the treatment they need. Asleep or awake, they are haunted by the pain of their injuries and sounds of war.

They have a small chance of recovery: Britain. If only they could go there.

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