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Doctor Abu al-Aish Photo: Reuters
Doctor Abu al-Aish Photo: Reuters
 
 

IDF to doctor: Mistakes happen

Army presents conclusions of inquiry into death of Gaza doctor's three daughters; IDF says troops fired at from nearby site, adds that it does not intend to take action against forces involved in incident

Hanan Greenberg
Latest Update: 02.04.09, 19:28 / Israel News

The IDF presented Gaza doctor Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish Wednesday with the conclusions of an inquiry into the death of his three daughters during Operation Cast Lead.

 

The army's investigation, approved by Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, revealed that an IDF tank fired two shells at the house after fire was opened at troops from a nearby area. The probe also showed that troops spotted figures at the top floors of the building helping to direct Palestinian fire at Golani forces.

 

Abu al-Aish was briefed on the findings Wednesday morning by the Coordination and Liaison Authority at Erez crossing. The IDF said it regrets the death of innocents.

 

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However, the army said that despite the tragic results it does not intend to take action against the troops involved in the incident in question, as such mistakes happen during operational activity.

 

'Hope at this dark time'

Wednesday evening, Abu al-Aish expressed his gratitude to "everyone who helped with this inquiry and brought the truth to light."

 

"This is a success for anyone who seeks justice and conscience, and it provides hope and justice at this dark time," he said, adding that he would be glad to receive an official apology for his daughters' death.

 

"The conclusions of this inquiry are not for me, but rather, for very many people who care; my family, people who are close to me, my daughter, and the people I belong to. Truth is on our side, but at times others don't want to bring it out." 

  

'Why did they kill them?'  

The incident took place during battles between the Golani brigade and terrorists in the area that included close-quarters combat and operations aimed at uncovering weapons depots. After troops were fired at, and later spotted Palestinian lookouts in Abu al-Aish's building directing mortar fire at Israeli forces, military officials assessed the situation at length before the two shells were fired.

 

Doctor Abu al-Aish, who works at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, convened a press conference at the hospital following the incident and spoke about his daughters.

 

"They participated in peace camps everywhere. Were they armed when they were killed? They were not armed with weapons, but rather, with love; love for others," he said. "Why they did kill them? Give me a reason."

 

At one point during the press conference, the doctor was interrupted by a mother of three soldiers who said: "Why is he engaging in propaganda? He's talking against Israel at the Sheba hospital. You should all be ashamed. All my children are serving in Gaza. Who knows what he had at his home?"

 

Daniel Edelson contributed to the story

 

First Published: 02.04.09, 17:32

 

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