In a scene that cannot be expressed by feelings, Palestinian doctor Hani Bseiso amputated the leg of his 16-year-old niece, Ahed, who was injured in an Israeli bombing in the city of… Gazainside the family home, without anesthesia or medical equipment, in light of the city’s hospitals stopping work and the Israeli forces preventing any medical capabilities from reaching them.
A graphic video clip circulated on social media showed the girl, Ahed Bseiso, lying on the dining table in the kitchen, and her uncle, an orthopedic surgeon at the Shifa Medical Complex, Hani Bseiso, standing next to her and performing a leg amputation on her.
Using simple cooking utensils, a bucket with a little water, and a plastic bag, Doctor Bseiso let out a loud cry for help, with tears filling his eyes from the horror of the moment.
Bseiso says, his eyes filled with tears: Look… here I am amputating my young daughter's leg (referring to his niece) at our kitchen table in our besieged house!… Where is your humanity?! Look at the injustice we are experiencing!
Since last October 7, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip, which as of Friday left 24,762 martyrs and 62,000 wounded, most of them children and women. The Israeli war left massive destruction in residential buildings, civilian facilities, and infrastructure, and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip have been under a tight siege since the beginning of the Israeli ground military incursion on October 27, and all hospitals and medical centers have been out of service and the main ones, such as Al-Shifa Complex, Al-Quds Hospital, and Al-Mamadani Hospital, have been forcibly evacuated.
Israel prevents trucks loaded with relief aid and foodstuffs from entering Gaza and the north, except in very limited quantities that are not sufficient to meet the needs of the population there, which has worsened the living conditions.
A few days ago, some family members climbed to the fourth floor of the family home located on Al-Nasr Street in Gaza City, in an attempt to pick up the communications network transmission to contact their father who lives outside the Gaza Strip.
A few moments later, the Israeli army targeted the room they were in with a tank shell that was stationed near the house, resulting in Ahed suffering a fracture in the bones of her right foot, in addition to injuring her mother and her younger sister, who is 12 years old, with separate injuries.
The family tried to communicate with rescue teams and ambulance crews to come to the house and treat the injured, but to no avail, as communications were cut off at the time, and the Israeli army prevented medical teams and civil defense teams from reaching the targeted places.
Her uncle, Doctor Hani Bseiso, had no other choice but to perform surgery to amputate his niece's leg and stop the bleeding, even though he did not have any medical equipment.
Using small scissors and some gauze that was in his medical bag, the doctor removed the lower part of the leg.
Video footage spread on social media showed Doctor Bseiso wiping blood from the remaining part of his niece’s right leg while she was lying on a table with one of her brothers holding her steady, while the other was holding two mobile phones to provide better lighting.
Doctor Bseiso says: Unfortunately, I had no other choice. Either I should let her be a martyr or I should try to the best of my ability. I made the decision to amputate the leg. There was bleeding, and the leg had to be lifted and the artery tied.
He added: I had a bag of medical equipment because I am a doctor. The only thing inside it were scissors and some gauze, and I wanted a thread to tie the artery. The important thing is that I grabbed the artery and tied it with regular thread, like the one we sew our clothes with.
He continues: There was no anesthesia or any anesthetic available, so the anesthesia for her was the Holy Qur’an. My nephew recited to her over her head, and I read to her during the operation. I am very surprised, because Ahed endured what the human mind cannot bear!! We need psychiatrists now after this situation.
The next day, the Israeli army withdrew from performing the operation, and Ahed was transferred to the headquarters of the Patient’s Friends Association in Gaza City. She was given first aid, the wound was bandaged, and the shrapnel scattered throughout her body was removed.
Ahed has since undergone more operations in the hospital to treat her injuries.
During this ongoing war since October 7, doctors amputated the limbs of many injured people without using any anesthesia and with simple medical capabilities due to the seriousness of their wounds.
According to a previous report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the legs of more than a thousand children in Gaza were amputated due to Israeli bombing until the end of last November.