x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

TV film shows Crown Prince and Gaza amputee on dive

A documentary will be aired tonight that features a scuba-diving trip the Crown Prince of Dubai took with a teenager who lost his legs in a rocket attack in Gaza.

Khalil al Jedaili's legs were crushed but he hasn't let his disability stop him enjoying his favourite sport, diving.
Khalil al Jedaili's legs were crushed but he hasn't let his disability stop him enjoying his favourite sport, diving.

A documentary will be aired tonight that features a scuba-diving trip the Crown Prince of Dubai took with a teenager who lost his legs in a rocket attack in Gaza. Khalil al Jedaili, a 17-year-old Palestinian, received a surprise visit from Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed during diving classes at the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. The pair dived for about 30 minutes.

Ali Khalifa bin Thalith, an Emirati film-maker and employee at the Office of the Crown Prince, was there to capture the action. The short film, called The Gaza Diver, will be aired this evening at 5.30pm on Dubai One, followed by other channels at a later date. Khalil was injured last January when, under bombardment from the Israelis on what was to be the last day of the Gaza war, he and 10 other members of his family sought shelter in his grandmother's house.

A bomb hit the house, killing his seven-year-old brother, Muhanad. His 14-year-old brother, Abdulhadi, lost an eye. Khalil was buried under the rubble of the house. It took six hours of surgery to remove the crushed remnants of his legs and stabilise him enough that his life was no longer in immediate danger. Khalil was brought to Dubai on March 23 by the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) and was fitted with a set of prostheses. As he waited for his new legs, he started practising scuba diving.

Sheikh Hamdan offered the young Palestinian medical support and "promised to provide all forms of aid and assistance to overcome his ordeal", according to WAM, the state news agency. Sheikh Hamdan "took him on a cruise around the Dubai lagoons and let him practise one of his favourite sports - diving - in defiance of his handicap", WAM said. Today's documentary covers Khalil's early life in Gaza, the Israeli attack and his subsequent recovery, through to his diving trip with the Crown Prince.

@Email:hdajani@thenational.ae