Ahmed Ismail Khatib,13, was shot by IDF troops in the West Bank town of Jenin nearly two weeks ago when he walked out of his family
home carrying a toy gun that soldiers mistook for a real one. He was taken to Rambam Hospital in Haifa where he died. His father decided to donate his organs to Israeli children “for peace.”
The first meeting was with the parents of 12-year-old Samah, an Israeli Druze girl who received Ahmed’s heart.
“We are also her parents now,” Ahmed’s mother told Samah’s mother Yousra, as she hugged her.
“The joy is also shared by two fathers. We are one family. I hope you will accept me as your sister,” Yousra said.
“We feel as if we are looking at our son. If this girl asks you something and you cannot attend to it, come to us. We are her parents too,” Ahmed’s father said of Samah.
Mother: Samah received a new life
The meeting between Ahmed’s parents and the parents of children whose lives were saved by transplant operations using Ahmed’s organs was emotional. Men, women, doctors, nurses and visitors at the Schneider Children's Medical Center sobbed.
Fairouz Gaboua, whose 5-year-old
son Mohammad received one of Ahmed’s kidneys, came to thank the Khatibs. Tovah Levinson of Jerusalem, the mother of 3-year-old Menouha who received Ahmed’s second kidney, was also there to meet the family.
“This amazing family gave Samah a new life,” Yousra said. “It is difficult to express in words what’s in my heart. An Israeli soldier mistakenly killed Ahmed and they donated his organs to sick Israeli children, it is a bridge to peace.”
Tovah Levinson said, “We are really grateful to you for saving our daughter’s life. God will pay you back for that good deed.”
“We hope her wounds will heal soon. We hope that she will work to promote peace once she grows up,” Ahmed’s parents said.
Ahmed’s father addressed the Israeli public through a letter in which called on both Israeli and Palestinians to instill “a new culture in our children’s minds.”
Ali Waked contributed to this report