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Tragic Death of Palestinian Boy Leads to Hope for Organ Recipients

November 7, 2005
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For one Palestinian family, tragedy born of five years of fighting with Israel has provided an opportunity to appeal for peace. Israeli troops scouring the West Bank city of Jenin for terrorists last Thursday shot 11-year-old Ahmed Khatib after mistaking the toy gun he was carrying for a real weapon.

The boy, who has Israeli Arab relatives, was rushed to Rambam Hospital in Haifa for treatment, but succumbed to his head injury over the weekend.

After consulting with Muslim authorities, Khatib’s relatives announced that his organs would be donated to anyone who needs them — Arab or Jew.

“The truth is that since Thursday we have been sitting in the hospital and discussing this pain, how a boy can leave home and get shot and wind up dead. We began talking about how we have to put an end to this cycle of bloodshed,” Khatib’s uncle, Mustafa, told Israel Radio on Sunday.

“The doctor there asked us to donate his organs. We sat and discussed it, and decided that yes, we want to bring more people, more children to life. Perhaps in the future they will be decision makers who will put an end to the bloodshed.”

There was no immediate word of candidates for the organs, but a Rambam spokesman, Dr. Tzvi Ben-Yishai, voiced confidence that the donation would “bring hearts closer and bring peace closer.”

The Israeli army voiced regret at Khatib’s shooting, and Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would seek a meeting with the bereaved family to pass his condolences.

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