Young Kassam victim to Peres: Stop the rockets!

Last Second Lebanon War victim walks out of Beit Loewenstein.

twito kassam victim 224  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
twito kassam victim 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
During a Wednesday visit to Sheba Medical Center to meet victims of rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon, President Shimon Peres urged all of them to fight for a full recovery. Doctors told Peres that their main aim in treating Osher Twito, the eight-year-old Sderot boy who lost a leg to a Kassam rocket several months ago, was to make it possible for him to play soccer again. "The whole State of Israel has followed your condition with concern since you were wounded," Peres told him, "and I'm happy to see that you are 1,000 kilometers away from those first dark days." Osher asked the president to "protect Israeli children and stop the Kassams" from falling. Peres went on to see Yossi Haimov, whose arm was damaged by a rocket and who said he felt stronger every day. "I hope you will recover and bring your parents joy as soon as possible," Peres said. Ta'ir Afajin, a two-and-a-half-year-old girl who was seriously wounded along with her mother in an Ashkelon shopping mall last week, suffers from nightmares and anxiety. Her grandmother, Pnina Shlomi, asked the president to tell the government that "the people of Sderot and Ashkelon want peace, but they are being hurt. We must stop being apathetic and act to stop the terror, as our weakness makes terror stronger." Peres said that unfortunately it would take time to overcome terror, but that "we will win this battle together." He went to see Avital Afajin, Tair's mother, who was also seriously wounded and who has not yet visited her daughter because she didn't want the child to "see me like this." She praised the hospital staff for saving her life and her daughter's. The president said he was sure she had the emotional and physical power to overcome her wounds and go home. He also visited a number of soldiers wounded in action in Gaza, including Saba Lipsky, who immigrated from Minsk a decade ago. The soldier, who is in an elite unit, said he was proud that new immigrants served willingly in the Israel Defense Forces and didn't hesitate to be on the front lines to protect the country. Meanwhile, Anatoly Starijevski, a civilian critically wounded during the Second Lebanon War's rocket and missile attacks on the North almost two years ago, was the last person from that war to be discharged from the Beit Loewenstein rehabilitation hospital in Ra'anana. His head and other parts of his body were wounded on July 23, 2006 when a missile dropped into the Carmel Ulpinim factory. He was rushed to Rambam Medical Center for treatment and then to Beit Loewenstein while still unconscious. Starijevski regained consciousness at Beit Loewenstein, but it became clear that his injury had caused the paralysis of his two legs. After many months of rehabilitation by a host of medical specialists, however, he improved to such a degree that he was able to walk out of the hospital on Wednesday - on his own two legs.