MideastWeb Middle East Web Log

log  archives  middle east  maps  history   documents   countries   books   encyclopedia   culture   dialogue   links    timeline   donations 


Thank the al-Khatib family for their gift to peace


The parents of Ahmed al-Khatib, a twelve year old boy killed by accident by the IDF in Jenin, have given a gift to the peoples of Israel and Palestine, and to peace. They have allowed the organs of their son to be used to help save the lives of Israeli children.

The boy's father said the decision to donate his son Ahmed's organs stemmed from ordeal of his brother, who died waiting for a liver transplant, and from his family's desire to help others regardless of nationality.

"I don't mind seeing the organs in the body of an Israeli or a Palestinian. In our religion, God allows us to give organs to another person and it doesn't matter who the person is," Khatib said. He added that he hoped the donation would send a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians.

Al Khatib also said:

"I hope we can live a peaceful life without the killing of children. My children and the Palestinian children in the camp are dreaming of a peaceful life of freedom..."

"I am speaking my mind, not my heart. My heart is weeping for my son but my mind is telling me to do something important.

Elsewhere he was quoted as saying:

The most important thing is that I see the person who received the organs, to see him alive."

The shooting of Ahmad al-Khatib was a tragic error:

The soldiers thought they saw an armed man some 130 meters away, and one of them fired, hitting the suspect in the head. When the soldiers approached, they found Ahmed laying critically injured - with a toy gun. The IDF subsequently circulated photos of the gun to show how realistic it looked.

Ahmad's organs have so far saved the lives of six Israelis of different ages, including a Druze girl who got his heart, and two Israelis who received his lungs and liver.

Those who fill their nightmares with visions of demonic Palestinian terrorists or equally demonic "illegal Zionist settlers" may be surprised to learn that this is not the first time that Palestinians and Israelis have donated organs to each other. For example, the organs of Yoni Jesner, a Scottish Jewish student who was the victim of a Palestinian terror attack, were donated to several people, including an Arab child from East Jerusalem. Jesner was studying in a Yeshiva in the settlement of Gush Etzion. His parents were happy to help others live. Yoni Jesner said, "Always give. Taking rarely makes you feel liked or good about yourself," a sentiment that surely would be appreciated by the al-Khatib family and many others.

There were many other cases too, apparently:

Palestinian boy's organs save four Israelis
July 31 2003

The family of a Palestinian boy killed in an accident has helped save the lives of four Israeli children by donating his organs, a rare act after 34 months of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Eleven-year-old Qaher Aoude died when he fell off the roof of his home near Nablus in the West Bank.

His family authorised the donation of his organs yesterday over the objections of many of their neighbours angered by Israeli crackdowns on a Palestinian uprising for independence.

"We want Israelis and Americans to know that while the Israeli army kills Palestinians we give life to Israeli children," Murad Aoude, one of Qaher's 17 siblings, said today.
The organs of several Israelis - some of them killed in suicide bombings and other Palestinian attacks - have been donated to Palestinians since violence erupted in September 2000, but donations the other way dropped off dramatically, Israeli health officials said.

"When (Palestinian) organs were donated it was in secret," said Tamar Ashkenazi of Israel's national transplant centre. "This may be the first time since it began it has been done publicly."

"Shared humanity" is not just a cliche. Here is to the memories of Ahmed al Khatib and Yoni Jesner, of Qaher Aoude and all the others, and to the generosity of their parents, whose acts ensure that "human" does not become a curse word, and who command us to make peace.

Ami Isseroff

Articles that appear at MidEastWeb are copyright. If you copy this material without permission and credit you are guilty of intellectual theft.

If you like this post - click to Reddit!
add to del.icio.usAdd to digg - digg it

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000405.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 06:52 PM CST [Link]


Middle East e-Zine

Midde East News

Opinion Digest

Late Updates


Middle East Glossary

Middle East Maps

Middle East Books

Middle East Documents

Israel-Palestine History

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Middle East Countries

Middle East Economy

Middle East Population

Middle East Health

Zionism History

Palestinian Parties

Palestinian Refugees

Peace Plans


Middle East


Blog Links

OneVoice - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog

Bravo411 -Info Freedom

Israel News


Michael Brenner

Dutchblog Israel

Dutch - IMO (Israel & Midden-Oosten) Blog (NL)



Alas, a Blog

Little Green Footballs

Blue Truth

Fresno Zionism

Reut Blog

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blog

Simply Jews: Judaism and Israel

Jeff Weintraub - Commentaries and Controversies

Vital Perspective


Meretz USA Weblog


MIDEAST observer

On the Contrary

Blogger News Network- BNN

Google Sex Maps

Demediacratic Nation

Realistic Dove

Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.

On the Face

Israel Palestjnen (Dutch)

Middle East Analysis

Israel: Like This, As If

Middle East Analysis

Mid_East Journal

Z-Word Blog

Dvar Dea

SEO for Everyone

Web Sites & Pages

Israeli-Palestinian Procon

End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One Voice


ATFP- American Task Force on Palestine

Americans For Peace Now

Shalom Achshav

Chicago Peace Now


Peacechild Israel

Bridges of Peace


Israeli-Palestinian Conflict



Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel on the Web

Israel - Palestina:Midden-Oosten Conflict + Zionisme

Isral in de Media

Euston Manifesto

New Year Peace


Christian Zionism

Jew Hate

Space Shuttle Blog

Israel News Magazine


My Ecosystem Details
International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Link 2 us
We link 2 U.
MidEastWeb- Middle East News & Views
MidEastWeb is not responsible for the content of linked Web sites

Replies: 8 comments

Their gesture is a magnificent and inspiring one. It ensures that their son's tragically short life will never be forgotten. Here are a few more stories of organ donation from the region that cross religious and ethnic lines:

From http://www.schneider.org.il/Eng/Index.asp?CategoryID=78&ArticleID=31

Two liver transplantation operations were needed to save the life of Amjed Omar, a 9 year-old Israeli Arab child, who suffered from a chronic liver disease. When his liver and kidneys stopped functioning, he was hospitalized in a critical condition at Schneider Children's Intensive Care Unit. In a 12-hour operation, surgeons transplanted a healthy liver lobe, but the organ was rejected. When Tomer Driham, 18, was killed in a tragic traffic accident a few days later, surgeons transplanted his liver lobe into Amjed's body, this time with complete success. The happy father, Jalal, said emotionally: "I thank the medical team at Schneider Children's which saved my son's life, and in particular, I thank the family, which donated the organ, for the life-saving act they made for my son."

There are some acts of humanitarianism and bravery that simply surpass description and defy belief. Such was the courageous decision of the Jesner family, whose 19 year-old son, Yoni, was fatally wounded in a bus terrorist suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. In the darkest hour of their despair, the family agreed to donate Yoni's organs to help save other lives. One of the recipients was a 7 year-old Palestinian girl, Yasmin Abu-Ramillah from East Jerusalem, who underwent a life-saving kidney transplant at Schneider Children's. The act symbolized the sanctity of life even in death.

Cross Transplant

National differences stop when it comes to health. Jewish Ron Azari, 11, suffered from diseased kidneys and was in urgent need of a transplant, but the blood type of his parents did not match. Ilia Halon, an Israeli Arab, also needed a transplant but no-one in his family was suitable to donate a kidney. So, doctors decided to conduct a "kidney cross" between the two families whereby Ilia’s wife Lena donated a kidney to Ron, while his father, Yigal, donated a kidney to Ilia. Surgeons operated on Ron at Schneider Children's, while Ilia underwent his transplant at another hospital. Two cross match transplants have been previously conducted in Israel, but this was the first carried out on a child.

Posted by Wendy Leibowitz @ 11/08/2005 10:59 PM CST

we need more of this and ;ess of the violence. if palestinians learnt the lesson of Gandhian non violence and uces that path instead of intefadah then their opponents would not have an upper hand and they would not be as villified as they are.
one has to give to receive and that goes for both sides

Posted by moiz esufally @ 11/10/2005 04:55 AM CST

I know that it may be too long (I am open to edits) but I will give this sermon this Saturday in synagogue -- based on the Al-Khatib gift of life.

Parshat Lech Lecha
Rabbi Paul Arberman
Acts of Conversion/
Save the Life of My Child

“Avram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the wealth
that they had amassed, and the souls that they had made in Haran;
and they set out for land of Canaan.” (Genesis 12:5)

Rashi (11th century commentator) explains the strange expression “and the souls that they had made in Haran,” by explaining that it referred to the people that Avram and Sarai coverted there -- “brought under the wings of the Shechina.” By bringing these people closer to God, says Rashi, Avram and Sarai had in a sense “made them.”

In the Midrash Rabbah (39:14), Rabbi Eleazar, in the name of Rabbi Jose ben Zimra, explains the phrase “and all the souls that they had made,” in a dialogue:

Q: If all the nations of the world assembled to create one insect, they could
not endow it with life, and yet it says: “And the souls that they had

A: It refers, to the proselytes [which they had made].

Q: But if that is true, then it should just say, 'That they had converted;’
why does it say “that they had made?!”

A: That is to teach you that one who brings a non-Jew near [to God] is as
though he created him.

This week a story appeared in the news davka about a non-Jewish family – Palestinian actually -- that reminded me of Avraham Avinu and his work of making souls in Haran. A story which has the potential to bring us all closer to God.

The family of Ahmed al-Khatib, who died this week, donated his organs
to save the lives of 6 others. Just hearing the list almost moved me to
tears. Al-Khatib’s heart was given to a 12-year old girl; his liver was
divided in two and given to a 6-month old baby and 56-year old woman; his
kidneys were given to a 5-year old boy; and his lungs were given to another
5-year old boy and a 4-year old girl.

Who is Ahmed al-Khatib? He was a 12 year-old boy who was killed last week by Israeli troops who mistook his toy gun for a real rifle. Forget for a
moment about explaining why we can understand how this terrible mistake
could happen (because unfortunately I CAN understand how it could happen). The bottom line for the family is that they lost their 12 year old son who was playing around - and he was killed by Israeli troops.

So what did the family decide to do? Send pictures to the world? Begin riots in the streets? Call for revenge? Sue for damages? They did none of these things. They decided to donate his organs to save other Israeli and Palestinian children.

Jamal al-Khatib, the boy’s father explained: “In our religion, God allows
us to give organs to another person and it doesn’t matter who the person
is,” he said. He said he hoped the donations would send a message of
peace to Israelis and Palestinians. The doctor where Al-Khatib had been
treated until his death said the boy’s parents decided to donate his organs
“to bring hearts closer and bring peace closer.”

Can you even imagine the strength and the deep goodness this act required! How the family could even be thinking of bringing hearts closer after such a devastating loss.

I'm also struck by how hard it to remember that there are good people who live on the other side of the fence. Of course we know that some Palestinian parents are preparing their kids to become martyrs – I know it.

But we too easily lose sight of the fact that some of them are praying that peace will come soon. It's like when we watch the thousands of Arab youths are rioting in France – but we ignore those – including the families of the two young men who were accidentally killed – who are at home calling for an end to the violence.

Are there 50 or 45 or 10 righteous people in the city of Jenin where
Ahmed was killed? I don’t know. What I can say for certain is that this
week, one Palestinian family, when faced with the darkest chapter of their lives, came up with one bold act of kindness. If all the nations of the world assembled to create one insect they could not endow it with life. Yet the Al-Kahtib family gave six lives a new chance.

Our ancestors Avram and Sarai made souls in Haran. How did they convert them? They would invite people in to their home, give them to eat and to drink. They showed them acts of loving-kindness and brought them closer to God. (Sifri, Va'etchanan).

The Al-Khatib family's gift of life should inspire and should humble us. But most of all we too should be converted by this bold act of loving-kindness.

We should be converted to the idea that Abraham's challenge to God – to not sweep away the innocent along with guilty – can be our challenge well – perhaps we generalize too much about "the Palestinians" and should be more careful about who we are talking about – terrorist groups, leadership, or ordinary citizens.

For the Palestinians, I would hope that the Al-Khatib act of loving-kindness would convert others to see the humanity of the Israelis – how much we value human life – and how much we appreciate this blessed gift. May both nations learn to grieve the loss of innocent life on both sides of the fence. And may the Al-Khatib name be made great and a blessing – for us all.

I had thought to end in a personal prayer that years from now when the young Israelis who were saved by the donated organs become soldiers, their memory of the Al-Khatib family's act of loving-kindness would restrain them – give them pause -- before shooting to quickly and killing another child in Jenin.

But you know what? It was an accident, a terrible, tragic accident. I think it more appropriate to offer the only prayer that will bring us closer to the wings of the Shechina – and that is, that years from now, the Palestinian heart beating in our Israeli soldier won't have to serve in Jenin in the first place.

Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by Rabbi Paul Arberman @ 11/10/2005 10:27 PM CST

now the world knows who is the terriost killing a kid is not a error

Posted by muhammad junaid @ 11/11/2005 09:46 AM CST

Mashallah the kid prove alot to the world. now the so called peace makes knows the truth who is killing innocents ... for al-Khatib family, brother pakistani muslims proud on your action may allah bless on you & your country amen

Posted by Faisal @ 11/11/2005 09:51 AM CST

Hmm this would be a good theme for an inspirational, peace-building kind of movie. Thanks for relating the story!

Posted by Lisa @ 11/12/2005 03:54 AM CST

It is unfortunate that your prescious childs life was taken before their time!

It is very generous of you that you share his remaining life with others.

See my web site for new hope in Islam....

Anne Marie Elderkin Habibi

Posted by Anne Marie Elderkin Habibi @ 11/13/2005 04:25 PM CST

Other cases of cross national organ donation in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Zehava Vider, who lost her husband Ze’ev, and her daughter Sivan, at the “Park hotel”
attack, donated her husband organs because: ”It was father’s way, to help others, with no difference of religion, race or nationality”. On Friday, came to her “shiv’a” the family of Abu Harir (from Shu’afat in north Jerusalem). “I don’t know a lot of words in Hebrew but I want to tell you ‘kol ha’kavod’.” Said Sa’id Abu Harir and hugged Zehava.

Source, Yediot Achront 7.4.2002 page 12.

The organs of Mazan Juliani (32) of the Anabta refugees camps who was shut in Friday where planted in bodies of five patients, four of them Jewish. Yediot Achront, 5.6.2001, page 19.

The corneas of a Jewish boy where planted in two Arabs kids. Sagi Hreshkovitz (7), was killed in a traffic accident last weak the recipients, Haibi May (10) of Jat, and Ebrahim Salameh (4) of Kalanswa. Yediot Achront, 6.6.2001, page 19.

12.6.2001 Yediot Achront, page 15: the corneas of Yan/Jan Blum who was killed at the “Dolphinarium” attack, where transplanted to an Arab from a village in the north.

Posted by Dvar Dea @ 11/27/2005 01:36 PM CST

Please do not leave notes for MidEastWeb editors here. Hyperlinks are not displayed. We may delete or abridge comments that are longer than 250 words, or consist entirely of material copied from other sources, and we shall delete comments with obscene or racist content or commercial advertisements. Comments should adhere to Mideastweb Guidelines . IPs of offenders will be banned.

Powered By Greymatter

[Previous entry: "Self-righteousness will come home to roost ( or NY is Fun City, Paris is a riot)"] Main Index [Next entry: "Terror in Jordan kills 57: Enough is Enough"]


Thank you for visiting MidEastWeb - Middle East.
If you like what you see here, tell others about the MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log - www.mideastweb.org/log/.

Contact Us


Editors' contributions are copyright by the authors and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.
Please link to main article pages and tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Do not copy MidEastWeb materials to your Web Site. That is a violation of our copyright. Click for copyright policy.
MidEastWeb and the editors are not responsible for content of visitors' comments.
Please report any comments that are offensive or racist.

Editors can log in by clicking here

Technorati Profile

RSS FeedRSS feed Add to Amphetadesk Add to Amphetadesk

USA Credit Card - Donate to MidEastWeb  On-Line - Help us live and grow