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Page last updated at 22:52 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Israel shelled Gaza doctor's home

Dr Izeldeen Abuelaish
Dr Izeldeen Abuelaish shared his grief at losing his daughters

An Israeli probe into the death of the three daughters of a Gaza doctor in the recent offensive there has concluded they were killed by Israeli fire.

The army said troops had fired shells at suspicious figures in Dr Izzeldeen Abuelaish's house, believing they were observers directing sniper fire.

The Israeli-trained doctor is a fluent Hebrew speaker.

His loss became known across Israel when the grieving doctor phoned a TV station to describe what had happened.

The shelling of his house in Gaza occurred on 16 January, as Israel was engaged in operations against Hamas.

Three of the physician's daughters - aged 13 to 20 - and a 17-year-old niece died in the incident.

'Path of light'

The Israeli military released the conclusions of its investigation on Wednesday.

We all make mistakes, and we don't repeat them
Dr Izzeldeen Abuelaish

It extended its condolences over the shelling, but insisted that troops had operated within reason, given the heavy fighting in the region.

The army also said residents had been urged to leave the area before the attack, and that the doctor had been personally asked by phone to evacuate his family.

At the time of the bombing, Dr Abuelaish, 55, denied that any militants had been hiding in or firing from his house.

He responded to the inquiry by thanking those who carried it out, telling Israeli TV: "We all make mistakes, and we don't repeat them".

The father-of-eight added: "I have two options - the path of darkness or the path of light. The path of darkness is like choosing all the complications with diseases and depression, but the path of light is to focus on the future and my children."



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