Seriously ill children are allowed to leave Gaza for the first time since May

One of the children who made the crossing Thursday was a 10-month-old girl named Sadeel Hamdan.

For months, his family had watched with growing fear as Sadeel’s condition worsened. His belly had swollen like a balloon from severe liver failure, and he was in desperate need of a transplant, said his father, Tamer Hamdan.

On Thursday morning, after weeks of waiting, Mr. Hamdan and Sadeel were finally allowed to leave the enclave. After entering Israel, they were transported along with other patients to Nitzana, an Israeli border crossing, where they entered Egyptian territory, he said.

“Thank God,” said Mr. Hamdan, who was reached by phone as he sat on a bus on the Egyptian side of the checkpoint. “We are so happy to have brought Sadeel out safely. Now we just need to complete her treatment.”

Their departure from Gaza, however, was bittersweet. Mr. Hamdan traveled with his daughter so he could be a partial liver donor, but his wife and three other children were not allowed to join them. He said he feared for their fate in Gaza.

“We are all going into the unknown,” he said.

For every patient who left, there were many more who stayed behind. Muna Abu Holi, a university professor in central Gaza, survived an explosion that killed one of her daughters and left two others seriously injured.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry documents, both of her surviving daughters were allowed to travel through the Rafah crossing on May 7 for medical treatment. But the Israeli offensive led to the closure of the border.

“We are looking for every possible hope,” Ms. Abu Holi said. “Every news we hear, we cling to it.”

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