Life, Middle East

Palestinian father seeks justice for daughters killed by Israel

3 daughters killed by Israeli tank shell that struck their house in Jabalia camp in Gaza in 2008

Abdel Raouf Arnaout   | 16.11.2021
Palestinian father seeks justice for daughters killed by Israel

JERUSALEM 

Thirteen years have passed since Palestinian Ezz El-Din Abu El-Aish lost his three daughters to an Israeli tank shell that struck their house in Jabalia camp, north of Gaza City.

Other family members living in the same house were also wounded by Israeli army fire during a three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that began on Dec. 27, 2008.

The Israeli onslaught, known as Operation Cast Lead, resulted in the massacre of about 1,400 Palestinians and thousands injured.

The grieving father has sued the Israeli authorities over the death of his three girls; Bisan, Mayar, and Aya, who were aged 21, 15, and 13 years old respectively.

Abu El-Eish, who is a medical doctor, demands Israel make an official apology and that it bears full responsibility for the murders.

He also demands that the self-proclaimed Jewish state gives him financial compensations that he intends to use to fund a college in honor of his daughters.

On Monday, Israel’s Supreme Court examined a civil lawsuit filed by the Palestinian father, but it has not yet issued a verdict.

Abu El-Eish has since relocated to Canada alongside other surviving family members.

Heartbreaking


Abu El-Eish traveled to Israel to attend the Monday court proceedings at the Supreme Court, Israel’s highest judicial body.

"This is the room after the tragedy,” Abu El-Eish, who was holding a picture of his demolished house, told reporters while pointing to the room where his daughters perished. “Personally, I don't want anyone to go through what I went through," he said.

“During the Israeli assault, my daughters were studying (at night) using candles because there was no electricity,” Abu El-Eish recalled.

“They had a goal. Their goal was to succeed, to learn, and to become the bearers of a humanitarian message. These are the children I taught and raised."

The bereaved father said his daughters are victims, vowing to “keep them alive” and not allow anyone else to “kill them again” by ensuring that they get justice.

The court session was attended by a number of peace activists and Arab deputies, including Ayman Odeh, Ahmed Al-Tibi, and Osama Al-Saadi.

In a Twitter post, Al-Tibi described Abu El-Eish’s account of his daughters as “heartbreaking”.

For his part, Odeh tweeted saying that Abu El-Eish “seeks not revenge” but that Israel “bears responsibility for the killing.”

“There is nothing more humane and more painful than a bereaved father who seeks justice for his daughters," he added.

Justice


In March 2017, the Israeli Central Court in the southern city of Beersheba reviewed the case but rejected it. As a result, Abu El-Eish decided to file a petition with the Supreme Court. But the court has postponed its sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Abu El-Eish said he is resolved to seek justice for his daughters through all available “civilized, peaceful, legal and moral means”.

"Unfortunately, and painfully, the response has always been denial, evasion, and false excuses,” he said. “This has compounded the pain and suffering that my family and I have endured and kills my daughters over and over again."

But the determined father still remains hopeful that Israeli judges will do “what is moral, what is right, and what is legal as well.”


*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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