The toddler amputees of Israel’s war on Gaza – Hoor Nusseir

Maram Humaid

Deir el-Balah, Gaza – Little Hoor Nusseir, with her fearful, bewildered eyes, sits on a bed at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, looking around.

She is being treated after she was the sole survivor rescued from beneath the rubble of her family’s home.

Her family, including her father, mother, and three brothers, were killed when an Israeli bomb landed near their home in Deir el-Balah on January 27.

Hoor is only a year and a half old, and she has a lot to recover from, as her tragedy extends beyond losing her family.

Doctors have had to amputate her left hand entirely and the fingers of her right hand. She also has a lot of wounds to her head and legs.

She has started crying and trembling as she looks at the people gathered around her and her aunt, Fatima Nusseir, tries to comfort her.

“She’s in severe shock and is afraid of unfamiliar faces,” Fatima tells Al Jazeera.

The 24-year-old has been staying with Hoor in the hospital to take care of her as she is being treated.

“Hoor cries for her mother all night long. She says a lot of things I can’t understand, but I do understand when she says: ‘Mama! Mama!’” Fatima says tearfully.

“I take care of her all day, but nobody can replace her mother and father. My heart aches with grief for her.”

The doctors at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital say Hoor needs additional surgeries and treatment, some of which cannot be found in Gaza, so she may need to travel to, among other things, be fitted for a prosthetic limb to replace her missing hand.

“What she’s endured is unbearable for any adult, let alone a child,” Fatima says. It is hard to distract or console the child, given the nature of her injuries.

“Hoor can’t grab a toy, because of her amputations,” her aunt explains, trying to find a way to distract her.

“Losing a hand at her tender age, along with her family, especially her mother, is devastating.”

Hoor used to be a cheerful, sociable toddler, Fatima says. But now, her mental health has suffered a great deal and she has a hard time with the presence of others around her.

She cries almost incessantly, and it is difficult to calm her.

“Hoor wasn’t weaned yet, so she relied on her mother even more.

“Why should this child suffer such a loss when she needs her parents desperately?” Fatima lamented.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA