Father-of-two Wael Shareef Al Namla lost his leg during the 2014 conflict in Gaza. His wife and child also lost limbs.
Wael and his family ventured outside the day a temporary truce was agreed – one of numerous short-lived ceasefires called since conflict began in early July, 2014.
“On Friday 1 August , the day they agreed a ceasefire, I went out,” said Wael, speaking to Islamic Relief. “[It was] me, my wife, my two children, my brother, his wife, his child and my two young siblings. It was roughly nine o’clock and after we walked a kilometre and a half we were targeted by planes with two missiles. It was like the Day of Judgement and everyone was running, planes were bombing.”
“My leg was amputated, my wife lost both legs, and my son Shareef’s leg was amputated as well. My brother Youssef passed away, my sister Angham as well and Youssef’s wife – all of them passed away. One daughter was burned and Shahid has got burns as well.”
Facing the future
In the aftermath of the fighting, Wael and his family – like many in the coastal enclave – are trying to come to terms with all they have lost, and are struggling to rebuild their lives.
“Now, I am living on the second floor in my parents’ house, me and my wife and children. We find it hard. We struggle going up and down stairs, and there is no one that can help my wife and take her upstairs. Our wish is to build two rooms, kitchen and a bathroom so at least we can move around the house more easily.
“We are in need of artificial limbs. I have my leg amputated from above the knee, and my wife has had both legs amputated so she need artificial limbs as well. My son has an amputation and needs an artificial limb so at least we can live our lives, walk and move around the house without walking sticks or without anyone’s help.”
Islamic Relief has worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for more than 20 years. We were one of the few international organisations on the ground throughout the fighting in 2014, working from our Gaza office to provide life-saving humanitarian aid. We are now focussing on a wide-ranging recovery programme to restore shattered communities and enable Palestinians like Wael to rebuild their lives.
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