VIDEO - Doctors at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon were forced Sunday to amputate part of the left leg of eight-year-old Osher Tuito, who was seriously injured in a rocket attack on the southern town of Sderot on Saturday evening.
The boy's right leg was also seriously hurt. He was anaesthetized and his situation was reportedly stable.
Video courtesy of Infolive.tv
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak
arrived in Sderot on Sunday morning and visited the place where the rocket landed, injuring Osher and his 19-year-old brother Rami.
Barak was greeted by angry residents, who called on him to "go home." He later continued to a security discussion with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
and Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin.
Dr. Emil Chai, the hospital's deputy director-general, told Ynet, "When Osher arrived here, his leg was completely crushed. It was clear that we would probably have to amputate it. He underwent surgery during the night and we are trying to keep the second leg, but it's also in bad condition.
"Apart from that, he has a hole in his chest and his lungs are injured. We still fear an infection and are constantly on the lookout. His brother Rami was also operated on tonight. Both his legs are plastered now and we presume that he will be transferred to the orthopedic ward in the coming hours."
Barak met Sunday with Sderot Municipality workers and with Mayor Eli Moyal. The defense minister said that "the IDF is operating in Gaza constantly, in open and concealed operations."
Moyal added, "The IDF must continue to act in a more extensive operation, in order to destroy the rocket fire which has been going on too long. The public must feel that the IDF is operating in the area."
At the same time, hundreds of Sderot's residents were preparing to leave for a demonstration in Jerusalem in order to protest against the government's helplessness outside the weekly cabinet meeting. The residents planned to arrive in the capital in a convoy of cars and buses, carrying protest signs.
Osher and Rami Tuito were injured while planning their father's birthday party. They were headed to an ATM at a local commercial center together with Rami's girlfriend, Kineret, in order to get money to buy their father a bottle of perfume.
When they arrived, they discovered that they had forgotten their credit card at home. As they returned home, they were hit by a Qassam rocket.
The Tuito family members sat by the operation rooms at the Barzilai Medical Center on Saturday night, praying for their loved ones.
Osher's father, Rafi, said of his son's injury, "He is just an eight-year-old kid. A child who should be playing football, riding his bike. How can such a child live with an amputated leg, with his entire life ahead of him?"
Tears filling his eyes, he added that his sister's house was hit by a Qassam rocket about half a year ago. "Our house is not fortified. I have a married daughter living outside Sderot, and she is afraid to visit me with her baby. I tell her, 'You are right, don't come here, it's dangerous.'"