Blinded boy’s father killed by Israeli tank shells

The Sunday Times

A week ago two Israeli tank shells left eight-year-old Mohammed Badran half blind. Yesterday an Israeli warplane dropped a bomb that killed his father.

“We haven’t told the boy about his father’s death. He can’t see to say goodbye,” said Mohammed’s uncle, Kamal, as gravediggers lowered the boy’s father into a sandy grave overlooking Gaza.

Mohammed lies in Gaza’s main hospital, his right eye shredded by the missiles that hit his home as he slept last week. A piece of shrapnel sliced his lip, curling it into a permanent snarl. In the next bed lie two of his siblings, also severely wounded.

Two days ago blood started to seep from Mohammed’s remaining eye. Doctors in Gaza say they do not have the skills needed to remove the tiny pieces of shrapnel. They say Mohammed will lose the eye unless he is immediately evacuated via Israel to a hospital in the West Bank.

Since rockets fired by militants on Friday shattered a three-day truce, Israel has conducted more than 100 strikes on targets inside Gaza.

An Israeli warplane bombed the al-Qassam mosque at dawn yesterday. Mohammed’s father was inside praying.

“He wasn’t Hamas. He was just a policeman,” said Kamal, who works for the UN.

“They have left a boy without a father. Unless we can send him abroad, this boy will also be left with no eyes.”

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