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Before ceasefire, Gaza doctor's grief was heard on live Israeli TV

2009-01-19 00:45:55

Our Comments

This is a tragedy but also humbling that this man who has lost most of his family still has hope for his future and for peace.

The other side of it is, that it's obvious these aren't accidents.  Israel, much like the US just makes up false claims of "militant activity" as an excuse to kill whoever they want.

Israel has already been caught lying several times such as the bombing of UN shelters and schools which they claimed had militant activity.  The UN has correct Israel several times in saying there was absolutely no militant activity and no justification for their targetting of UN aid works and civilians.

Full Article:

Before ceasefire, Gaza doctor's grief was heard on live Israeli TV

'Oh, God, my daughters!' he cried after Israeli shells hit house

Last Updated: Sunday, January 18, 2009 | 10:29 PM ET Comments249Recommend191

Before a ceasefire took hold Sunday in Gaza, the tragedy of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish's three dead daughters unfolded live on Israeli television.

Gaza physician Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish visits one of his surviving daughters in a Tel Aviv hospital after Israeli shellfire killed three of his girls and a niece.Gaza physician Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish visits one of his surviving daughters in a Tel Aviv hospital after Israeli shellfire killed three of his girls and a niece. (CBC)The doctor, a Palestinian in Gaza, acted as a Hebrew-speaking witness to the suffering there in nightly interviews with Israel's Channel 10.

Speaking via cellphone Friday night, he told correspondent Shlomi Eldar that two shells had just torn into his house.

"My daughters!" he screamed. "Oh, God, my daughters!"

Three of his daughters and a niece were killed.

Abu al-Aish had been planning to take his family and start fresh in Canada, but no one in crowded Gaza or nearby Israeli towns was immune to shells or rockets during the conflict, which left more than 1,200 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

Less than 24 hours before Israel announced its ceasefire in its assault on Hamas, his daughters and niece were killed by Israeli fire.

Gazan officials identified his dead daughters as 22-year-old Bisan, 15-year-old Mayer and 14-year-old Aya, and the niece as 14-year-old Nour Abu al-Aish, the Associated Press reported.

Eighteen members of his extended family were in the house at the time, and at least two of his five surviving children were wounded in the shelling, AP said.

Israeli television correspondent Shlomi Eldar choked up as the doctor's wails were broadcast across the nation.Israeli television correspondent Shlomi Eldar choked up as the doctor's wails were broadcast across the nation. (CBC)On television, the Israeli correspondent, Eldar, choked up as the doctor's wails were broadcast across the nation.

The cameras then followed Eldar as he appealed to the Israeli army to get an ambulance to the scene, at least to help the others who were wounded.

Abu al-Aish was able to arrange the transfer of his two injured daughters to Israeli hospitals, something that has been extremely rare during this conflict, AP said.

The Israeli army for the first time allowed a Palestinian ambulance to go straight to the Erez border crossing, where the injured were transferred to Israeli ambulances. From there, they were taken by helicopter to Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv.

But much of Abu al-Aish's world has been shattered. Although his wife died six months ago, there were high hopes for the future of the rest of the family.

"I was sitting there with them, planning, because I got an offer in Canada, at the University of Toronto," he told CBC News.

In the midst of tragedy, however, he has somehow found hope. "If I remain stuck with my sadness, my anger, can I return the life to them? No. But I have other children; I have hope."

Even as he said that, an Israeli man visiting the hospital began yelling at him.

Militants shot from the house, the Israeli said, repeating media reports that the home was shelled after someone fired at troops from nearby.

Abu al-Aish said no one was there but his family, and that he would have personally thrown out any militants.

Committed peace activist

Even in his grief, Abu al-Aish remains convinced that people must talk to each other across the Israeli-Palestinian divide, he said. "From our pain we can learn," he said. "We may disagree, but we should learn from that. Let us express the pain, let it out. It's beneficial to us all."

Over the past three weeks, Israelis have remained largely unmoved by the scope of death and destruction in Gaza, but Abu al-Aish's story is being followed closely by every Israeli news agency and has struck a national chord: A man who has lost almost everything still has hope that Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.

"Maybe the blood of my daughters was the price," he said, "and if it was, I am happy about it. The cost of ceasefire to save lives to be my daughters' and my niece's blood — honestly, I am proud of it. I am fully proud of it."

The 55-year-old gynecologist is a known peace activist involved in promoting joint Israeli-Palestinian projects and an academic who studied the effects of war on Gazan and Israeli children, AP reported. He works at Gaza's main Shifa Hospital.

During the call-ins, he often spoke of his fears for his eight children as Israeli shells punished not only the Hamas militants they were targeting in Gaza but civilians who live in the tightly packed enclave, unable to leave.

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