Though they have long since disappeared from headlines, the members of the
Jayada family still wait each day for news of something hopeful. When it comes,
the update spreads like wildfire, going out by text message to hundreds of
relatives who want to know. Five-year-old Muhammad’s skin graft surgery went
well, as did the one for Bassam, who’d been driving.
Ayman, who was critically injured when the car he and the five others was
traveling in was hit with a Molotov cocktail on August 16, has come out of his
He was moved late last week from the intensive care unit of
the Hadassah University Hospital in Ein Kerem to a regular plastic surgery
He is a few doors down from his brother, Hassan, who, like Bassem
and Muhammad, suffered third-degree burns over about 30 percent of his
Ayman, who took a direct hit from the Molotov cocktail and has
burns over about 45% of his body, is just now beginning to speak in a
“How are the kids?” he asks, barely audible.
fine, thank God,” responds his wife, Jamila, her cheeks still glowing with the
burns she suffered in the attack. “They’re at home,” she lies.
who also sustained serious burns on her hands, is still receiving treatment but
was discharged from the hospital last week. She visits every day, shuttling
between her husband’s bedside and that of Muhammad, both of whom face several
more skin graft surgeries. The family has decided that it is to early in Ayman’s
recovery to tell him that his beloved and only son sustained such terrible
injuries in the attack. His younger daughter, Iman, four, was released from the
hospital on the same day as the attack, and along with two other daughters, is
being cared for by relatives.
Three Israeli youths, ages 12 and 13, from
the settlement of Bat Ayin, were arrested in connection with the attack and have
all since been released. Honenu, a legal aid organization representing people
“who at times due to the security situation are persecuted by certain government
authorities and a court system heavily influenced and pressured by anti-Israel
‘human rights’ groups,” according to the organization’s website, says the three
youths are innocent.
“The detention was superfluous and meaningless. The
release proves it,” attorney David Halevi said in a press statement.
Jayada family lives in Nahalin, a village located inside an enclave in the Gush
Etzion bloc, surrounded by the settlements of Betar Illit, Gvaot, Neveh Daniel
and Rosh Tzurim. Most family members are day laborers who work in construction,
both inside the Green Line and in nearby settlements.
Hassan, 27, looks
down at his arms, wrapped in bandages from shoulder to finger, and worries that
it will be a long time before he can work again. He has had several skin graft
surgeries but still has a difficult time moving his fingers.
that I’ll have problems with my hands – they’re not sure if some of the damage
will be disabling.
They told me it might be a very long time before I can
try to work with my hands again,” said Hassan. “It is always hurting. It doesn’t
“What these teenagers did is very dangerous, and it doesn’t really
matter if they’re young or old. I think young people are even more dangerous and
willing to do crazy things,” he said. “It is up to the police to figure out if
it is the right people or not. But I give them credit for arresting people and
taking this seriously. I hope they’ll catch people who do violent things,
whether they’re Jewish or Arab.”
Dr. Avraham Neuman, who has been caring
for all members of the Jayada family, expects all of them to be released in the
next two weeks, with the exception of Ayman, who may need to stay
“I think they’ll all return to what they did,” said Neuman, the
head of the plastic surgery and burn department.
“They won’t be
permanently disabled,” he offered optimistically.
Members of the family
say that they’ve been receiving excellent care at Hadassah.
he is not surprised, and added that about half of the medical professionals
treating the family are Arab.
“When we take care of people, we are busy
doing what we do. If we would get emotional about it, we wouldn’t get anything
done,” he says. “We are investing our 100% in everyone, doesn’t matter if he is
Jewish or Arab, religious or secular, black or white. If there is someone who
has a doubt that Jews and Arabs can’t live together, they should come to the
hospital and see it.”
It is not clear, however, who will be responsible
for the enormous bill incurred by the family. A Hadassah spokeswoman said it was
not clear who would pay, and that in the meantime the hospital itself is
absorbing the costs.
“The State of Israel can’t say it is responsible,
because [it] didn’t do it,” Neuman said. “But Hadassah will not ask for the
money, not from the family anyway, but perhaps from the Defense Ministry.”