A refugee has offered to sell one of his five sons to pay his father's $25,000 in back medical bills.
Seeking to attract attention to his ailing father's plight, Nabil Rifai held a news conference Friday to announce he would sell 7-year-old Bilal to pay for kidney treatment for his 57-year-old father.
Rifai said a hospital in southern Lebanon has stopped treating his father for kidney failure because the family has a $25,000 overdue bill.
"We are poor and everyone has abandoned us," said Rifai, who lives in the Ein el-Hilweh camp of 75,000 Palestinian refugees.
When asked if he agreed to be sold, Bilal nodded.
"We want to treat Grandpa," he said. He paused, then asked: "If I am sold, will I be able to see my father, brothers and grandparents?"
The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, in a statement published Saturday in Beirut newspapers, said it paid for Ali Rifai's treatment until the family moved him to a hospital without contract with the United Nations.