Maria Amen, injured in 2006 Gaza strike
Photo: Gil Yohanan

State to seek housing for Gazan girl paralyzed in strike

Three-and-a-half years after injury from IDF strike on her home in Strip, eight-year-old Maria Amen's family still cannot find apartment that meets her medical needs. State tells High Court will appoint representative to solve housing problem for family that currently resides in Jerusalem hospital

Will eight-year-old Maria Amen, who lost five of her family members when an Israeli missile hit her home in the Gaza Strip in May 2006 get a house of her own three-and-a-half years later?


During a hearing on the matter in the High Court of Justice last week the defense and interior ministers' counsel said the State would appoint a new representative to find a solution to the girl's living arrangements to bring the saga to an end.


Amen's lawyer said on Sunday that the girl "cannot breath on her own."


The eight-year-old lost her mother, two of her brothers, her aunt and her grandmother in the strike, and was also hit herself. She was left almost completely paralyzed to this day, and currently resides at a rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem.


The girls' status, along with that of her father and brother, who was also injured in the strike, is being discussed by the High Court. The State refuses to grant the family's request for permanent residency in Israel.


The family has already received a stipend from the State to find temporary housing, but despite their numerous attempts, they have yet to find a suitable apartment that meets the girl's medical needs.


In its ruling the High Court stated that the situation in which the child and her family continue to reside in the hospital "is an undesirable situation" and the while the State has allotted a significant monthly fee to go towards rent, they seem to be having trouble putting the money to use.


In response the State said it would once again appoint a representative to try to solve the family's housing problem, and the court ordered both parties to report on any progress made within three months.


The previous representative appointed to the task failed to find a solution to the problem, but the family is now hopeful that the sought-after apartment will be found since the budget has been increased by 25%.


"We are glad that the court sees the family's affairs before its eyes, and that responsibility is being taken and that the girl and her family, who have lost so much, are not being abandoned," Attorney Adi Lustigman, who represents the Amen family, said.


Lustigman said she also hopes the family's permanent resident status will be approved in the future, despite that State's current position on the matter.


"She can't breath on her own, and this will not change. Transferring her to the Palestinian Authority would lead to doom, she cannot survive there. Here, the family can rebuild its life. What we are asking for is stability for her family, which has experience disaster."


פרסום ראשון: 02.14.10, 16:03
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