Gaza War Doctor, Peace Activist Grieves Three Daughters
A Palestinian doctor who provided Israeli TV viewers with updates on the human toll of the violence in Gaza has now reported a personal tragedy. A fixture on Israeli television, he's now lost three daughters to bombing, and has rushed at least two other children to a Tel Aviv hospital.
Friday's report was different - with sobs, he told how three daughters and a niece were killed by an Israeli shell. "I want to know why my daughters were harmed," Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish said on Channel 10. "This should haunt (Israeli Ehud Prime Minister) Olmert his entire life."
Throughout the 21-day war, Abu al-Aish has brought accounts of war's tragedy to Israeli living rooms, making him for many the voice of Palestinian suffering.
The 55 year old gynecologist is a rarity among Palestinians, a Hebrew speaker who trained in two Israeli hospitals. His wife had died recently and he often spoke of his fears for his eight children during his broadcasts.
Israeli TV said initial reports indicated that a sniper had fired from either the family's building - which friends quoted by TV said they doubted - or nearby, and the Israeli infantry responded with a tank shell.
Abu al-Aish was able to arrange the transfer of two injured daughters to Israeli hospitals - something that has been extremely rare during this conflict. The Israeli army also for the first time allowed a Palestinian ambulance to go straight to the Erez border crossing, where the injured were transferred to Israeli ambulances.
"Suddenly, today when there was hope for a cease-fire, on the last day... I was speaking with my children, suddenly they bombed us. The doctor that treats Israeli patients."
Gazan officials identified Abu Al-Aish's deceased daughters as 22-year-old Bisan, 15-year-old Mayer and 14-year old Aya. His niece was identified as 14-year-old Nour Abu al-Aish. At least two other daughters were injured and are being treated in Tel Aviv, Israel.