The “Gaza Doctor” launches petition asking Trudeau to support his legal case seeking Israeli apology


Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, otherwise known as the “Gaza Doctor” (l.), shown here with Prime Minister Trudeau and Health Minister Jane Philpott at a reception in Toronto in 2014. Dr. Abuelaish has prepared a petition asking Trudeau and the Canadian government to support his demand for an acknowledgement and apology from the Israeli government for the loss of his daughters in a bombing attack on their home in Gaza in 2008. Learn More.

A Palestinian pediatrician who lost 3 daughters to Israeli bombing in 2008 is taking the Israeli government to court asking for an apology for their actions and his loss. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish now lives in Toronto and has become a Canadian citizen. He is also launching a petition asking the Canadian government to show support for his case.

“For two years, I tried to settle and reconcile this tragedy with the Israeli government with all possible peaceful means. Sadly and painfully; the answer I received was that my daughters and niece were collateral damage.  At first in fact they said there were snipers at the roof of my house. Then that there were militants and firing from inside and around my house. The last excuse was that shrapnel had come from Hamas rockets,” wrote Dr. Abuelaish.

Why he wants an apology from Israel


Receiving no satisfactory answer from the State of Israel for two years, and facing a statute of limitation, Dr. Abuelaish filed a lawsuit against the State of Israel on December 27, 2010.

i-shall-not-hateWhile waiting for a response from Israel, Dr. Abuelaish has been active in Canada and elsewhere. He is the author of “I shall not hate” and a frequent public speaker.

He has also established the Daughters for Life Foundation providing scholarships for girls and young women from the Middle East without any discrimination; Palestinians, Israelis, Jordanian, Syrian, Lebanese or Egyptian., Muslims, Jewish, Christians or Druze helping them to overcome social, economic and financial hardship.


The Doctor finally gets his day in court

After over six years of delay, Dr. Abuelaish will  finally get his day in court on March 15 and 19, 2017. He will travel to Tel Aviv and testify with two of his remaining daughters, Shatha and Raffah, in front of an Israeli judge.

In his lawsuit, he is asking for an apology as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu did in the case of the Mari Marmara, the Turkish boat attacked by Israeli forces as it attempted to take medical supplies to Gaza in 2010. Dr. Abuelaish says any financial compensation will be “used to establish Daughters for Life International Schools in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq and one in Canada for the First Nation women.”

What about the Canadian government?

Mr. Trudeau, who defines himself as a “feminist” has been outspoken in the defense of the rights of women. Dr. Abuelaish hopes that he will also be outspoken for the rights of Palestinian women and girls.

How could Prime Minister Trudeau show support? One way would be to contact Mr. Netanyahu reminding him of Canadian values of human rights and expressing Canada’s concern that Israel acknowledge its accountability for this tragic event.

He could also ask our Canadian Ambassador in Israel to appear in court on March 15th to show the Canadian government’s support for Dr. Abuelaish. Both the US and the UK have intervened at the ambassadorial or higher levels in cases where their citizens have been injured or killed by Israeli forces, among others American  Rachel Corrie, and British citizen James Miller.  Ambassadors were unafraid to publicly express dissatisfaction and demand greater transparency in the Israeli investigations.

Anyone wishing to encourage Mr. Trudeau to do so can sign Dr. Abuelaish’ petition.


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  1. He is a good man. What happened to his family is tragic. Some day Gaza will be free of the tyranny of Hamas and its people will live in peace.

    1. Someday the occupation and apartheid will end and Palestine/Israel will finally become a secular democratic state.

    2. Hey David, Thanks for writing. Yes, Dr. Abuelaish is a good man. As are many many more Palestinians. Including many who voted for Hamas in 2006, or still support it because they feel it is strongly defending their rights against an aggressive Israel.

    3. Like their fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the people of Gaza will “live in peace” when Israel ends its belligerent, illegal and brutal occupation.

      To wit:

      As the respected human rights organization Human Rights Watch declared in 2005: “…Israel will continue to be an Occupying Power [of the Gaza Strip] under international law and bound by the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention because it will retain effective control over the territory and over crucial aspects of civilian life. Israel will not be withdrawing and handing power over to a sovereign authority – indeed, the word ‘withdrawal’ does not appear in the [2005 disengagement] document at all… The IDF will retain control over Gaza’s borders, coastline, and airspace, and will reserve the right to enter Gaza at will. According to the Hague Regulations, ‘A territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised’. International jurisprudence has clarified that the mere repositioning of troops is not sufficient to relieve an occupier of its responsibilities if it retains its overall authority and the ability to reassert direct control at will.”

      The International Committee of the Red Cross: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, ratified by Israel, bans collective punishment of a civilian population.”

      “In practice, Gaza has become a huge, let me be blunt, concentration camp for right now 1,800,000 people” – Amira Hass, 2015, correspondent for Ha’aretz, speaking at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

      “‘The significance of the [then proposed] disengagement plan [implemented in 2005] is the freezing of the peace process,’ Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Ha’aretz. ‘And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda….’ Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Ha’aretz for the Friday Magazine. ‘The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,’ he said. ‘It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.’” (Top PM Aide: Gaza Plan Aims to Freeze the Peace Process, Ha’aretz, October 6, 2004)

  2. Dr. Abuelaish is a truly admirable person having shown unimaginable humanity, without rancour, when his daughters were killed.

  3. Thank you for this encouragement. Dr. Abulaish is a beacon of hope. Just saw him featured in a video at our new human rights museum in winnipeg–one of too few of the museum’s acknowledgments of Palestinian suffering.

  4. Yes we support Dr blueish and Canadian Pm should take a stand in such case as he promises to support human rights and what happened in Gaza is genocides against innocent girls .and children Israelis must pay for such action

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