Amputee soccer is giving Palestinians In Gaza some relief from the effects of conflict
Football has the power to not just thrill and entertain, but also heal. Take this story from the conflict-torn Gaza strip. A soccer team of Palestinians left physically disabled due to Israeli bombing in this region is giving the players new purpose.
The players, aged between 13 and 42 years, play intra-squad games with eight members on each side. Most of the players have only one leg and play on crutches. Their crutches are not sturdy and tend to break when a player puts extra pressure, but their spirits are affected.
Among them is 13-year-old Ibrahim Khattab, who lost his left leg during the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza militants. An Israeli missile struck while he was playing soccer outside his home.
His parents say that since the soccer team was formed, Ibrahim has found new hope.
The team was founded by Fouad Abu Ghalyoun, a member of the Palestinian paralympic committee. He came up with the idea after a match in 2017 led by amputee squads from England and Turkey. Within five months, 16 players had signed up.
Ghalyoun says that earlier it was hard to convince people with amputated limps to come forward. That has changed now, with people calling to ask about exercise times. He says the game is not just entertaining, but also provides psychological support.