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Israeli TV airs Gaza doctor's pleas after children killed
Saturday, 17 January 2009 13:03
by Richard Kastelein

Liberty and democracy become unholy when their hands are dyed red with innocent blood."
-Gandhi, Non-violence in Peace and War, 1948

Dr. Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish is a Palestinian gynecologist from Beit Lahiya, in the Northeast edge of Gaza. And he works at Israel's largest hospital, Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv.

The doctor - a peace advocate - who has been stranded at home during the war was regularly interviewed by Israel's Channel 10 TV by phone about the crisis. During one interview, a tank gun aimed at his home - and Israeli media intervention saved him.

But the Israeli media could do little for him after his three children were killed by the IDF in an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip.

This man is a doctor in a Tel Aviv hospital. Do you think he would have any hesitation saving the life of an Israeli? No, I think that politics disappears for him at the entrance to a hospital room, whatever his private feelings are about the war.

To have his family wiped out as well as having tragedy played out for all on television, is the hardest thing I've witnessed in this conflict.


Israeli television broadcast desperate cries for help from the Palestinian doctor on Friday and the telephone calls created extraordinary scenes during evening news broadcasts as the doctor said three of his children were killed in a tank strike and others were wounded.

"My girls were sitting at home planning their futures, talking, then suddenly they are being shelled," he said in a voice wailing in pain. "I want to know why they were killed, who gave the order?"

With Israeli journalists unable to report from the Gaza Strip independently, Aboul Aish was as a Hebrew-speaking witness on Israeli television who reported of the Palestinian civilians' suffering under fire during Israel's three-week-old offensive there.

Channel 10 correspondent Shlomi Eldar, who said he had planned a live on-air interview with Aboul Aish on Friday evening, produced a mobile phone in the studio, letting viewers here the voice of Aboul Aish:

"My God, my girls, Shlomi," he said. "Can't anybody get to us, please?" Eldar told his audience: "They have killed his family".

The Israeli army said troops fired on Aboul Aish's house because a sniper had fired on soldiers from the building.

Aboul Aish responded:

"All that was ever fired out of our house was love, hugs and acts of peace, nothing else, ever."

The doctor was a peace activist.

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