Mohammed Majdi Wahbeh, a three-year-old Palestinian boy from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, is the latest victim of apartheid and discriminatory laws targeting Palestinians in an Arab country.
Wahbeh was pronounced dead this week after Lebanese hospitals refused to receive him because his parents were unable to cover the cost of his medical treatment. According to reports in the Lebanese media, one hospital asked the boy’s family to pay $2,000 for his admittance. The boy had been in coma for three days before his death, but no hospital agreed to receive him because his family could not afford to cover the expenses of his treatment.
The death of the Palestinian boy at the entrance to the hospital has sparked a wave of anger among many Lebanese and Palestinians. Addressing the Lebanese Minister of Health, Ghassan Husbani, Lebanese journalist Dima Sadek wrote on Twitter:
“Mr. Minister, as residents, we ask you: Why did a three-year-old boy die at the entrance to a hospital, and who issued the order to prevent him from being admitted? Doesn’t your ministry bear responsibility? Since when does an illness differentiate between a Palestinian boy and a Lebanese boy? What is your responsibility with regard to this crime?”