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Israel TV broadcasts a Gaza father’s heartbreak

Israeli TV broadcast a father’s heartbreak Friday night when a Palestinian doctor living in Gaza made a frantic phone call to a newscaster saying an Israeli tank had shelled his home, killing three of his daughters and injuring other family members.

Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish, who speaks Hebrew, worked as a gynecologist in an Israeli hospital. Even as the crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel had largely been closed in recent months, he had traveled frequently from one place to the other. But he had remained in Gaza since the Israeli offensive began 21 days ago. He gave frequent interviews to the Israeli media on living conditions in the seaside enclave. He spoke of having tanks around his house and of passing through checkpoints; he told Israelis what it was like to be Palestinian.

Minutes away from a scheduled phone interview on Israeli TV 10 with newscaster Shlomi Eldar, Aboul Aish called Eldar’s cellphone. The doctor’s home had been struck by a shell and his three daughters had been killed. Eldar held his phone up. For three minutes and 26 seconds, Aboul Aish’s call was broadcast across the country.

Eldar welled up. He put his head down. He looked at the camera. He looked at his phone. He made pleas for help for the family, but the doctor kept crying, his voice scratchy, like sand on paper, until Eldar took out his earpiece and walked off the set to try to arrange for help. The newscaster’s bewildered face seemed to capture a bit of pause in a nation that has largely supported its military campaign and prefers not to question its course.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Aboul Aish was a single father. His wife had died of cancer. He made his daughters sleep close to the walls of their home in hopes that would keep them safe if airstrikes or artillery collapsed the ceiling.

“I don’t know how this man will stand on his feet again after this tragedy,” Dr. Liat Lerner- Geya, an Israeli who worked with Aboul Aish, told the Hebrew-language news website Ynet. “He would come to Israel and sleep at friends’ houses for three nights. Even though he had all the necessary permits, they always gave him trouble at the crossings. But he believed there should be coexistence and practiced this in his work.”

After the newscast, Eldar met with reporters. He said the doctor told him that evening “that since his wife’s passing, the girls had been his entire life. He said his eldest daughter wanted to study at Haifa University.

She and her sisters are dead. The news spread across Israel’s websites; the video of the doctor’s broadcast quickly made it to YouTube. Eldar said of Aboul Aish: “It is simply surreal. He is part of this place yet not of it, belonging and not belonging.”


9 Comments

  • barristerakc |

    *sobs*, apparently it goes to show the difference between a Zionist (religious fundamentalist) and a moderate Jew who is as much as God fearing and good as any other moderate Muslim. The tragedy is that, Israel is taken over by religious fundamentalists *the Zionists* unlike most of the Muslim world.

  • shy-guy |

    Every Jew is a Zionist in himself even those who accepted Jesus as their true Messiah but they are opposing any state of Israel. They are 20% of total Jewish population.
    I was visiting nkusa.org where one Torah rabbi said that Muslims were our best host among all we’ve spent in our Diaspora,which means creation of state of Israel was/is an illegal step for Jewish century.
    Judaism is largely a primitive, materialistic, authoritarian credo rather than a religion . Holocoust was a giant pogrom for creation of state of Israel, normal Jew is dupe and pawn in the game of greater Israel with the help of UK/US/UN
    Islam is one of the last bastions of genuine God worship, the last major obstacle to pagan World Religion based on black-magic. The attack on Iraq+Afghanistan is another step in the plan to assail Islam, monopolize world resources and enslave humanity.
    The cry of “anti Semitism” is being used to divert the world from this diabolical plot. By accepting the role of some apostate Jews, and their dupes, God-fearing Jews could unite with Muslims (and Christians) to bring the “blood sacrifice” to an end.

  • Asad Ali |

    @ I would’nt mind if the whole USA practice
    abortion on each other, specially, Neocon-nards,
    they have been proved to be the same as Gestapo
    and SS for Afghanis, Iraqis and Pakistanis,
    please send me some abortionists for Islamabad !!
    National Assembly !! thanks

  • Riaz Haq |

    I was shocked to read several Western media reports that the Gaza killings had become a spectator sport for many Israelis who brought their binoculars and lawn chairs to the hill tops surrounding Gaza. Many of them cheered the fireballs and explosions occurring in Gaza in front of their eyes. The Palestinian doctors’ tragedy puts a human face on the tragic suffering of ordinary Palestinians. The fact that some Israelis showed care and concern and acted to help the this particular victim helps reinforce my faith in our common humanity.

    http://www.riazhaq.com/2009/01/gaza-killings-spectator-sport-for.html