“Where is my leg?”

Children are under constant attack. 

Omar Ashtawy APA images

Layan al-Baz was shocked to learn that her left leg had been amputated.

The amputation occurred after Layan, 14, was wounded when Israel attacked her neighborhood. Her own family’s home was struck in the attack.

Layan, 14, regained consciousness following surgery at Nasser Medical Complex in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

“I want my leg back,” she said.

Layan was a passionate basketball player. She had taken part in basketball training camps during summer holidays since she was 7.

Not only has her left leg been amputated, her right leg is at risk. It requires major surgery and may have to be amputated if that surgery cannot be arranged.

Layan has been given a referral for surgery in Egypt. She is still waiting to travel.

Amid the current genocide, a limited number of patients are allowed to leave Gaza for treatment each day.

“I am scared to death that my second leg will have to be amputated before I can travel,” she said.

Ahmad Abu Himsha, 17, wanted to be a professional football player.

He was visiting his uncle’s home when it was attacked by Israel.

Ahmad was rescued from the rubble. His uncle and a number of his cousins were killed.

Bleeding profusely, his right leg had to be amputated.

Following the operation, Ahmad woke up and saw his brother next to him. “Where is my leg?” Ahmad asked.


For the next week. Ahmad refused to speak with anyone.

A goalkeeper, Ahmad was very serious about developing his football skills. He had taken part in a football academy, with the hope he would one day go professional.

At the moment, Ahmad is just playing football games on an electronic device. Yet he is talking about resuming football if he can get a prosthetic leg.

“I just want to be a football player,” he said.

Tala Rami, 8, was rescued from her family’s home in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, after Israel attacked it. Her parents and three siblings were killed.

Tala was so badly injured that a number of her limbs had to be amputated.

Without the fingers on her right hand, Tala is unable to draw.

Tala has long been devoted to art. Before the current war, she spent most of her spare time drawing pictures.

“It is not easy for a child at her tender age to accept the shock of losing her limbs, along with her family,” said Tala’s aunt Sahar.

Tala requires further surgery. As the operations she needs cannot be carried out within Gaza’s overstretched hospitals, she would need to travel for that purpose.

Tala may be able to have prosthetic limbs fitted. But at this stage, she doesn’t know how she can resume drawing.

For Tala, the thought that she may not be able to do so is unbearable.

Rakan Abed is a reporter and video producer based in Gaza.