Testimony from Gaza: Shot by Israeli Forces and Left Bleeding for Hours

October 17, 2014 Jehad Saftawi, IMEU
Testimony from Gaza: Shot by Israeli Forces and Left Bleeding for Hours
Forty-four-year-old farmer Shehda Al-Najjar worked in greenhouses in the Gaza village of Khuza’a prior to when he was injured by Israeli forces in July.
He describes his injuries and tells the perilous story behind them:
I was shot in the mouth. The bullet entered my face and went down to my right shoulder. The same gunshot broke my jaw and broke the bone in my right shoulder. Another gunshot hit my other shoulder and broke my hand. There is still a laceration of the nerves and the wounds haven’t healed yet. They still bleed from time to time.
On Thursday, July 24 at 3:40 AM, we were having breakfast during the month of Ramadan at my house with my son, my two brothers, cousins, and their families as well as some neighbors who were taking shelter in my home. We were hiding on the first floor in the living room, which is about 80 meters wide. We were almost 40 people in the house, mostly women. All of them came to my house to take cover during the heavy shelling in our region.
Israeli tanks arrived to our area and suddenly shelled two bathrooms, the kitchen, and another small room in my house. The windows and doors broke and fell on us. Everyone was screaming while the smoke spread everywhere. We escaped from the back door of my house to my uncle’s house, which is a few meters away.
After awhile, the Israeli soldiers came down from their tanks and started moving around the area by foot. They entered my house and crossed into my uncle’s house. They spoke through megaphones and asked if there’s anyone in the house. My brother answered them in Hebrew and told them that there are 40 people trapped inside the house. The soldier told him that everyone must get out of the house immediately and to raise our hands and to take off our pants. My brothers went out first and I went out behind them. It was almost 5:30 AM at that time. When I got out of the house, I immediately heard gunfire coming from the Israeli Special Forces from above, on top of a nearby house. This is when I was shot in the mouth and shoulder.
The soldiers took me inside the house and put me on the bed without any medical help, even though I was badly bleeding. Then, they took all the men in the house, shackled their hands, and proceeded to leave the house with them.
I tried to talk to one of the officers and said "I cannot stay here bleeding alone. You can either take me or kill me now." Then I gathered my strength and tried to stand up and walk towards the officer and I told him in Hebrew either to kill me or take me with them for treatment. He accepted and we left to the army camp which was about 100 meters from my house. After three hours of continuous bleeding, a nurse came and started to put white gauze on my injuries, but he did not properly treat me as I continued bleeding. At 2:30 PM, we heard the soldiers say that a senior officer has arrived so my brother went and spoke to the officer and told him that I was injured and that I was bleeding for a long time and needed to be transferred to the hospital. 
The officer asked the soldiers about the reason behind my injury and they answered him in front of us, telling him I was injured by mistake. The officer told me that the ambulance will take me to the hospital. After 20 minutes, the ambulance came. My brother and my three cousins tried to carry me and put me in the vehicle but I fell to the ground. “Give them a stretcher,” I heard the senior officer say, which they did. My relatives put me on the stretcher and carried me. Then, two soldiers came towards us, put their hands on the side of the stretcher, without helping in lifting but pretending they were, while a third soldier took a picture.
As my relatives were trying to put me in the ambulance, the positioned Special Forces on rooftops opened fire on a person named Rasmi Abu Rida, a man who suffered from a mental disability who was detained with us in the military camp. He was shot in the chest and killed. A few minutes later, a man came out from the house next to the ambulance, and they opened fire and shot him in the foot. He was transferred with me at the same time in another ambulance. 
Al-Roaydah is an area near the edge of where Israeli military control ended and ambulances transferred patients to ambulances on the other side of the barrier to take them to the hospital in Khan Younis. When we got there, the Israeli forces stopped the vehicle and removed me and the other patient and began questioning us as we were bleeding on the stretchers. They held us in the street for 15 minutes until another ambulance parked on the other side of the barrier took us, and we continued to the hospital in Khan Younis where I was finally treated.