This is what Israel should have done. A military vehicle should have waited last week for Khader al-Saaidy on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing point from Gaza, waiting to take him to the hospital to examine whether his remaining eye, the one that wasn’t ripped out, could be saved.
Then Israel should have seen to his rehabilitation, providing him with a guide dog, buying him a new fishing boat instead of the one it took away – and that was returned to him as a pile of wood. And of course, Israel should have properly compensated him for his blindness and ruining his life.
The soldiers who inflicted this upon him should have been tried and severely punished. Those in every course in the navy should be told his story, from time to time bringing him in as a guest lecturer – living testimony of the hell he has endured.
Let the sailors in their white uniforms know what they do in the name of the rite of security to helpless fishermen who endanger no one and who have done no harm. They should know what happens when they recklessly fire at Gaza fishermen.
This is what Israel has done: For months, a blinded Saaidy knocked at Israel’s door, desperately trying to get to the appointment that had been made for him for tests at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where he was operated on after the soldiers shot him. The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, an agency of the occupation, refused for months to approve his entering Israel, so he missed several checkups at the hospital.
Al-Saaidy with his children, Gaza, June 12, 2019.Khaled Aziza
In desperation, he went to Egypt, where they said they had nothing to offer him, but maybe in Israel they would be able to save his eye. Only the wondrous intervention of Prof. Dan Turner, deputy director of Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, who is a West Bank settler from Kfar Adumim,