Dr. Izzeldin Abu-Laish is a Gaza gynecologist who practiced at Tel Aviv’s Soroka Hospital. He was beloved by his patients, Jewish and Arab, and by the hospital staff. During the Gaza war, he and his eight children (his wife had died of cancer earlier in the year) were confined to their home, where he called Israel’s Channel 10 news nightly with reports of how Gazans were coping during the fighting. On January 16th he walked out of his home for a moment and the tank which had sat in front of his home for some time fired two shells directly at his house. The second hit its mark. His three daughters, Bessan, Aya, and Mayar were killed along with a cousin.
Shortly after the shells hit their mark, Dr. Abu-Laish called Channel 10 begging for help. His cries, a father’s helpless cries live on the air are enough to rend the flesh and break the heart. For me, the Abu-Laish daughters should’ve been the Neda Aga Soltans of the Gaza war. The fact that they weren’t, but were rather a footnote and bit of collateral damage testifies to the hardened hearts of Israelis innured to 42 years of Palestinian (and Israeli) suffering and Occupation.
Dr. Abu-Laish has always been devoted to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He remains so, despite the bitterness of losing his three innocent children to an Israeli tank shell. Their death should shame every Israeli who does not do enough to oppose the policies that created that war.
A website memorializing Dr. Abu Laish’s children is a magnificent offering to anyone touched, horrified, or heartbroken by this story, as I was when I first saw the video footage of his call to newscaster Shlomi Eldar.
H/t Kung Fu Jew.