The United Nations is pressuring Israel for a more plausible explanation for why so many of their facilities were attacked during the 22-day war on the Gaza Strip. Those attacks caused scores of civilian casualties, just some of the thousands of civilians killed and injured, and there is no shortage of Gazans who are waiting for explanations of their own.
Likely we all remember the story of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, the Israeli-trained doctor who dutifully called in to Israel’s Channel 10 over the course of the war to give them daily accounts of the situation inside Gaza. Then one day, just before the war ended, he called to inform the station that three of his daughters, peace activists all, were killed when an Israeli tank attacked his house. Dr. al-Aish is still waiting for his explanation.
Khaled Abed Rabbo, a 30-year-old father of three told his story to the Washington Post. He tried to get his three daughters away from the incoming Israeli soldiers. “I saw a tank and some soldiers, but I never thought they would hurt us. We are not Hamas.” But the troops opened fire on the fleeing family, killing two of his daughters and paralyzing the other. He wants to know, “Why did they let me live and execute my girls right in front of my eyes?”
The war is over, but even now the attacks continue. Two Palestinian civilians were walking along the Gaza coast today, when an Israeli shell fired by a gunboat wounded them. The Israeli military said the attack was meant to “deter a Palestinian fishing vessel” from straying too far from the Israel-approved fishing areas. Not a great explanation, but probably more than most of the thousands of other wounded Palestinians will get.