An Israeli missile killed Mariya Aman's mother and brother, and left the 6-year-old Palestinian girl paralyzed from the neck down.
Now Israel wants to cut off the medical care she has been receiving in Jerusalem and force her to move to the West Bank, where hospitals are ill-equipped to treat her.
Mariya was traveling with her with her family in the Gaza Strip on May 20, 2006, when a missile fired from an Israeli aircraft struck near their car, killing her mother, brother, grandmother and uncle. Mariya was hit in the back of the head with shrapnel and thrown from the car.
For the past year, Mariya has spent her days with doctors at Jerusalem's Alyn children's rehabilitation center, who have taught her to make the most of the only muscles she can control, those in her neck and head.
Now that she can use her chin to maneuver her electric wheelchair and type and draw on a computer, the Israeli Defense Ministry wants to transfer her care to a Palestinian hospital.
Mariya's doctors say Palestinian facilities don't have the equipment and experts to treat her. Mariya's father and Israeli human rights activists have taken her case to Israel's Supreme Court in a bid to keep her in the country, close to top medical care.
"I don't want inexperienced doctors in Ramallah (in the West Bank) practicing on my daughter," said her 30-year-old father, Hamdee Aman, a former construction worker in Gaza, who — after initially being denied entry to Israel — stays with his daughter around the clock.
Aman is seeking Israeli citizenship for himself, Mariya and his 4-year-old son Moaman.
The Defense Ministry says allowing Aman to stay will set a precedent resulting in other Palestinians injured in military attacks to fight for similar rights. The ministry said in a statement that it went beyond the call of duty by treating Mariya at all, because the missile attack that hit the family was "an act of war" and Israel was not responsible for its consequences.
The ministry has agreed to train staff at a rehabilitation center in Ramallah to take care of her. But it has not agreed to provide equipment, like a portable ventilator necessary to keep her at home. And other important equipment, like a device to maintain the oxygen supply in her blood and a portable machine to suck fluid from her lungs, is not available in Ramallah, said Dr. Eliezer Be'eri, director of Alyn's respiratory rehabilitation unit.
"If I cannot see a sustainable, rational plan for her, regardless of my nationality and my citizenship, as a doctor I cannot send this child out," Be'eri said.
Mariya's case could create opportunities for cooperation with the Palestinians if Israel agrees to provide the Ramallah hospital with the necessary equipment and train its staff, Be'eri said.
"It would be a good precedent for the future if we could show that even across the border we can work together and we can establish a way for Aman to be treated," he said. "But, you know, I don't want to turn her into a poster child. I have to look at what her needs are."
Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2007, 23:15