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Daily Israel Report

Kassam-Wounded Baby Returns Home

The baby who was seriously wounded in a Kassam rocket attack in the makeshift community for Gush Katif expellees in Kibbutz Carmiyah has returned home.

By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/15/2006, 1:54 PM / Last Update: 2/15/2006, 3:58 PM

The baby's family lived in a pre-fab caravila home, one of hundreds provided by the government for the expelled families of Gush Katif and northern Shomron. The structures are considered flimsy by their occupants, having been designed and built with the purpose of being vacated within 2-3 years.

The caravilas are certainly not designed to withstand Kassam rocket attacks. In fact, a Kassam fired by Palestinian terrorists in northern Gaza hit the family home 12 days ago. The rocket smashed into the home of seven-month old Osher Amar, causing him wounds in his skull and brain. His father and uncle were also hospitalized, with light wounds.

Following the Kassam attack, Osher was unconscious in Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva for a week, during which he underwent many operations. The baby finally regained consciousness several days ago, but still suffers from three skull fractures and swollenness in the head. He will require constant CT-scan tests for the coming duration.

Osher's mother, Bat-El, says she was saved by the fact that she had gone into the living room to light Sabbath candles. She has been left to deal with the situation on her own, due to her husband's wounds. She was helped, however, by two Chabad representatives in Be'er Sheva, Rabbis Zalman Gerlick and Menachem Kutner.

The two organized a series of volunteers who helped Bat-El in running her house. They also bought her a baby carriage and a bed, in place of those that were destroyed in the Kassam attack.

The Amar family did not originally live in Gush Katif. Mr. Amar lives in Carmiya, with his family, as the representative of the caravila construction company, and he performs maintenance work when needed.

Some 53 expelled families from Elei Sinai and Nisanit - and one from Netzer Hazani - were living in Carmiyah, north of Gaza, up until the Kassam attack. Most of the Elei Sinai families left 11 days ago when they saw that the government's refusal to heed their pleas for reinforced housing in defense against Kassams had brought about such injurious results. They left Carmiyah and returned to the Kfar HaNofesh Hotel in Ashkelon, where they are now living - in some cases, two families in one suite.

The expelled residents emphasize that in addition to the difficulties in finding employment and the lack of stability, only one family has received full compensation for its greenhouses. Though many have received the 50,000-shekel advance compensation packages for their homes and day-to-day lives that were abruptly cut short, the residents say that further payments do not appear to be forthcoming - at least not in the near future.