Harun Abu Aram, a 24-year-old Palestinian who is paralyzed since being shot in the neck by the Israeli army during a dispute over the confiscation of a generator in early January, has not been receiving required medical attention due to funding issues.
The Defense Ministry has not responded to appeals for funds needed to treat him in Israel. In the absence of a decision from the ministry, the Palestinian Authority may offer to foot the bill for his treatment in Israel.
How the JNF's Blue Box settled beyond the Green Line - LISTEN
Abu Aram was shot on January 1 amid clashes in the southern Hebron hills following a dispute in the village of al-Rakiz, half of which falls inside an Israeli military zone. A hospital report at the time said that he was paralyzed by the injury.
The Israeli military said that Abu Aram was not shot deliberately. At the time, it said Military Police began a preliminary investigation, which would determine whether a comprehensive investigation would be opened. Two months after the fact, the army has told Haaretz that the preliminary investigation is ongoing.
Initially placed on life support in Hebron’s Ahli Hospital, Abu Aram is still in serious condition and can only communicate via eye movement. Two medical evaluations commissioned by nongovernmental group Physicians for Human Rights recommended that he be treated at an Israeli hospital, as he requires treatment that the Palestinian health system cannot provide.
Israeli hospitals agreed to treat his injuries on condition that they receive funding.
One of the medical evaluations by Dr. David Schol warns that “every delay reduces the chances for rehabilitation and [increases] the risk of the patient suffering irreversible damage.”
- The village where Palestinians are completely powerless
- When Israeli soldiers moonlight as armed robbers
- A youth-led Palestinian protest movement is rocking the hills south of Jerusalem
A letter by Nur Asi of Physicians for Human Rights says that Abu Aram requires respiratory treatment and rehabilitation. “Since the army says he was shot accidentally or due to negligence, Israel should bear responsibility for his medical treatment.”
Abu Aram’s family appealed to the Defense Ministry via Joint List lawmaker Ofer Kassif in mid-February, to transfer him for additional medical help. Physicians for Human Rights appealed to the ministry on Thursday. Both requests have not received any response.
The ministry told Haaretz that they have received the Thursday request and that it is under examination.