Palestinian Patients in Jerusalem Face Loss of Gaza Homes from Hospital | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Palestinian Patients in Jerusalem Face Loss of Gaza Homes from Hospital

Sitting at the bedside of her five-year-old son, who has leukemia, Mona al-Ghoul shifts her attention from Wassim as she tries to comfort him after a chemotherapy session, to her mobile screen as she absorbs the stream of news pouring in from Gaza.

For weeks, the 29-year-old mother has been dealing alone with her son’s illness at Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem, where pediatric cancer patients in Gaza are referred for treatment. Signs of stress and sadness can easily be seen on her face.

Patients and their families at the hospital are going through some of their most difficult days as they cope with their situation against the backdrop of Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Long stays in Jerusalem’s hospitals have always been difficult on families caring for their sick children. This time, the strain has been magnified by Israel’s military campaign, which lasted for 11 days and left behind it widespread destruction, death and heartbreak. Families from Gaza have no immediate option to join their loved ones back home.

It took several months for Wassim’s diagnosis to be made, due to the scarcity of specialised medical equipment. When he was finally diagnosed with blood cancer in April, Mona took her son to Jerusalem for treatment.

Having suddenly left her home and family in Gaza, Mona had sought the psychological support offered by the hospital to deal with her situation. But as soon as she started feeling better, the onslaught on Gaza began, and with it came a new wave of fear and anxiety.

“My day and night are connected. My son Wassim struggles with his disease, and I struggle for him and for my husband and my three other children, the eldest is 12 and the youngest is nine, whom I left with him,” Mona told Middle East Eye. “At night, I walk across the hospital’s corridors alone, praying to God to protect my family.”

Mona’s fears became reality when Israeli air strikes partially destroyed her family home. “I was looking forward to Wassim and I going back to Gaza and reuniting with our family but now, after they bombed and destroyed my house, where am I going back to? Where would we live?”