Gaza man’s face badly damaged by Israeli tear gas canisterJune 15, 2018
Abu Sabla’s jaw and face suffered multiple fractures, and his teeth and nose were damaged. Doctors say Abu Sabla has difficulty breathing.
On Wednesday, Abu Sabla, who is unemployed, was in a hospital bed with white bandages covering the lower part of his face, surrounded by nearly a dozen friends and relatives.
He complained about numbness in his back and pointed at his lungs and stomach. Typing a message on his smartphone, he wrote that he feels “gas is still inside.”
His aunt, Tahani, standing at his bedside, said she still smells tear gas when she gets her head close to try to listen.
Abu Sabla was a frequent participant in the near-weekly protests along the Israeli border and was about 50 meters away from the fence when he was struck. It was not immediately clear what he was doing when he was hit. The army frequently fires tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Typing on his phone, Abu Sabla wrote that he wants “just to get treatment”.
More than 120 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3800 have been wounded by Israeli fire since the protests were launched on March 30.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, has encouraged young men to participate in the rallies to defy an 11-year Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
Israel accuses the militant group of using civilian protesters as human shields and trying to use the protests as cover to carry out attacks. Protesters have thrown burning tires and firebombs toward the border, and have attempted to cut through the fence with wire cutters.
On Thursday, Abu Sabla was transferred to St Joseph’s, an Arab hospital in east Jerusalem, after being granted an Israeli permit.
No protests are planned for Friday and Saturday due to the Eid al-Fitr holiday, a three-day feast marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Hamas urged people to head for border protest camps in the morning, perform prayers and go to visit bereaved families instead of protesting.
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