A familiar story

The story is a bit too familiar.  Another young man from Sudan or Eritrea was shot by Egyptian soldiers while trying to cross into Israel.  Flipping through his chart, I see he was medevac’d to Soroka University Medical Center and treated there.

He broke into a smile when I said he studied there, so his experience at Soroka couldn’t have been too terrible.  I felt a bit of pride at that, even though I hadn’t been involved in his care.  I feel pride in Israel for saving his life, even if he was later dumped on the street with just a conditional release document rather than having his asylum claim actually considered.  As if people are risking the things that happen in the Sinai for the economic privilege of washing dishes in Tel Aviv.

The “conditional release” does not forbid this young man from working, but it also doesn’t give him permission to work, which limits his access to the legitimate job market, where his employer would be required to provide him with foreign worker health insurance, which would be not unlike the insurance I have as a foreign student.

It’s two years later, and he continues to have pain and disability from the wound, which is why he is here at the free clinic. Unless a lot changes, or rather, unless one simple policy changes, any further medical care he gets, future surgeries, rehabilitation, pain management, will depend on charity.

I think medical privacy prevents me from telling you his age, but he is far too young for this burden.

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