Last year Kareem was alive, but in a wheelchair. As he had been since the 2006 attacks by Israel on Gaza. He was from Gaza.  Medical Aid for Palestine asked me to tell his story as part of their campaign for injured and sick Palestinians. I had a picture taken of me, holding a poignant picture of Kareem. He looked quiet, resigned to his fate. He could not seek the medical help he needed because the Al Wafa hospital where he was being treated was bombed in 2014. Medics and paramedics there patiently tried to rehabilitate injured men, women and children. During this assault, 17 hospitals and 42 primary health care centres were destroyed. 18,000 houses were flattened and 110,000 people displaced. Kareem could not seek treatment elsewhere because movement is restricted and controlled. Now I hear Kareem died of untreated kidney failure. Try to imagine how he felt before his life was taken, his rage and incomprehension. Hatred too, I imagine. In this single story you understand the tragedy of Palestinians and also of increasingly intransigent Israel, which seems to have lost its heart and soul. History is betrayed and co-opted; the oppressed becomes the oppressor. there can be no winners.

Blog, 4th of June 2016