Family of killed Palestinian boy donates organs to Israeli patients

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

The organs of a 12 year-old Palestinian boy killed by Israeli soldiers have been transplanted to Israeli patients, helping to save their lives.

Ahmed al-Khatib was shot during clashes in Jenin last week when soldiers mistook his toy gun for a real one. He later died in a hospital. The Israeli Defense Forces regretted the incident.

Ahmed's kidneys, liver, lungs and heart were transplated to a total of six patients, including Israeli Arabs, Jews, and Druze. One of the recipients was 12 year-old Samah Gadban, who had been waiting for a new heart for five years. Her father thanked Ahmed's family "from the depths of my heart" and called the donation a "gesture of love".

Ahmed's father, Ismail al-Khatib, said the family made the decision to donate his son's organs "for the sake of the world’s children and the children of this country". He added that saving lives was more important than religion and thinks that his son "has entered the heart of every Israeli".

al-Khatib stressed he has received nothing but praise from fellow residents in Jenin.

The Speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin, praised the action saying that this "remarkable gesture [...] despite the war and conflict without solution for nearly 100 years, must be noted".