Israeli doctors successfully operate on Gaza ‘tree man’

Gaza resident Mohammed Taluli's hand before it was operated on by doctors at Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center. (Hadassah Medical Center)

Doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center successfully operated on a Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip suffering from a rare disease known as “tree man syndrome.”

Mohammed Taluli, 42, arrived at the hospital with large growths on his hand, caused by complications from human papillomavirus infection, which can be cancerous.

“This is a very rare case that has no documentation whatsoever in the medical annals,” said Dr. Michael Chernofsky, an orthopedist and hand specialist who operated on Taluli, according to a statement published by the hospital Tuesday.

Chernofsky said the surgery was successful and that Taluli is now receiving medications and vaccines to complete the treatment.

Taluli said he sought treatment for his rare condition at hospitals in both Egypt and the West Bank, but was unable to find a cure until the Palestinian Authority coordinated his treatment in Israel.

“After years in which I sat at home embarrassed and could not work because of the limitation and feared cancer, the experts here at Hadassah were the only ones who gave me hope,” Taluli said.

“The treatment here is excellent and it is possible to say that everything is good today; the team [here] is very nice and helps a lot,” he added. “I really hope that my past life is already behind me to see my family, my wife and my six kids.”


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