Tomorrow, Wed. March 15March 15 - and also on March 19 and 29 and on April 2, between 10:00 - 17.00, the Be'er Sheba District Court will deliberate on the case of Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gazan whose three daughters and niece were killed in an Israeli shelling of their home.
Abuelaish, now residing in Canada, is suing the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The case is being heard by Judge Shlomo Friedlnader at the court building on 5 Hatikva St., Be'er Sheba. Abuelaish himself, his two surviving daughters and other relatives will come to testify. Israeli and international activists intend to maintain a presence in the courtroom.
Should he win the suit, Dr. Abuelaish does not intend to keep any of the money awarded by the court. Rather, he would donate the whole of it for the creation and maintenance of schools and and for the education of girls of all peoples and religions in the region.
Further background: On December 27, 2008, Israel launched an invasion of Gaza, called Operation Cast Lead. On January 16, 2009 my home was shelled by an Israel tank. Three of my daughters, aged 13, 15, and 21, were killed in their bedroom; another daughter was seriously injured, a niece was also killed and another niece suffered catastrophic injuries.
Since this tragedy, I have been determined to hold the Israeli government accountable. Sadly and painfully, the official response has been that my daughters and nieces were “collateral damage.” This has compounded the pain and suffering my family and I have endured.
On December 27, 2010, I launched a lawsuit against the Israeli government, asking that it accept responsibility for the deaths, apologize, and pay compensation. Any compensation awarded from the lawsuit will be used to establish Daughters for Life International Schools in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq and one in Canada for the First Nations women. The Daughters for Life Foundation, which was established in the memory of my lost daughters and niece, is dedicated to the education of girls and young women from all faiths and nations across the Middle East who face social and financial hardship. (A year later, I was compelled to pay a financial bond to the court since I am not an Israeli citizen).
This required my paying approximately 6,000 (USD) for each of my daughters and niece who were killed). The suit will be heard in an Israeli court in March, 2017.
Today, I am asking not only my fellow Canadians but also people around the world to sign a petition to prompt the Israeli government to take responsibility for its actions. There is precedent, in 2016, the Israeli government issued an apology and compensated Turkish families harmed in the 2010 Gaza Flotilla).
I appeal to all people of conscience to visit the website and sign a petition in the name of justice and to help ensure that 2017 can become a year of hope, peace, and an affirmation of life.