Mohammed Sha’ban, an 8-Year-Old Palestinian Blinded by Israeli Bombs

Mohammed Sha’ban was shopping for Eid clothes at a market in Jabalia, North Gaza. At the same time, an Israeli airstrike was launched near the boy. Now, the 8-year-old Sha’ban is permanently blind after shrapnel from the bomb explosion went into his eyes.

Mohammed Sha’ban.
Mohammed Sha’ban, an 8-year-old Palestinian who was blinded by an Israeli airstrike. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

ACTNews, GAZA – Mohammad Sha’ban (8) is one of the Gazan children affected by the previous Israeli military aggression on Gaza. Mohammed was shopping for Eid clothes when the market where he shopped was attacked by an Israeli airstrike on May 10, 2021. The shrapnel from the explosion went into his eyes and face which caused him to lose sight.

Mohammed had received treatment for his injury to recover his eyesight, but the doctors told the boy’s family that Sha’ban has permanently lost his eyesight. 

“I didn’t know where my son went. People told me he was hit by an airstrike and was taken to hospital. The next day after I got out of the shock, I went to the hospital. They told me he was still unconscious. He had lost a lot of blood and his eyes were swollen with shrapnel that was still in his head,” said Mohammed’s mother, Sumayyah Sha’ban.

After Mohammed was diagnosed as permanently blind, his family try to help him adjust. However, his injury has left psychological scars as well on him. Apart from blindness, Mohammed would also be very anxious at night during the air raids. The whole night, Mohammed would only sit up shaking and screaming full of fears. 

“I want to go to school, to see my friends and my sister. I also want to see my mother and father, also play with my friends,” said Mohammed.

According to Mohammed’s mother, Sumayyah Sha’ban, his son also faces sleep-deprived. They were hardly able to get him to sleep even just for an hour. Therefore, Mohammed’s family had no choice but to use painkillers and sedatives for him to sleep.

“He started asking us questions that were difficult for us to answer. He would ask us ‘when will I be able to see you again?’. He would wake up at night and ask us if it was day or nighttime, also ask if his siblings are awake or asleep,” said Hani Sha’ban.

“Mohammed is my favorite child. Wherever I want to go, he will go with me. Even when I don’t ask him for anything or I ask his other siblings, Mohammed will come and say let me help you instead. However, now, his mood has definitely changed a lot. He has an anger issue and tends to ignore his parents’ call now,” said Sumayyah.

Mohammed Sha’ban was one of the many Gazan children affected by the Israeli bombardment last May. A total of 248 Gazans were killed in the attack which 66 were children.[]