Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, a Palestinian doctor who lost his three daughters in the Israeli war on Gaza Strip, has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize in recognition of his efforts to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
"I wouldn’t call my first response joy, personally it is not joyous, but it does encourage me to hope for the two people," Abu al-Aish told the Israeli Yediot Aharonot on Monday, April 6.
"I received the news at the end of a meeting with the president of the European parliament while I was visiting Belgium."
Abu al-Aish has been nominated for the prestigious prize by Belgium, which last week gave him an honorary citizenship in recognition of his efforts in service of humanity.
The 55-year gynecologist, who works in Israeli and Palestinian hospitals, has become one of the symbols of Israel’s 22-day onslaught that killed 1,437 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and wounded 5,450 others.
Two days before the end of the war, an Israeli artillery shell hit Abu al-Aish’s home in Jabalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, killing his three daughters and a niece.
The tragedy happened while he was on Israel Channel 10 talking about the sufferings of the Gaza population during the war.
In a heartbreaking message, the grieved father said he hoped his daughters would be the last victims.
"The fact that a simple man such as myself is nominated for such a prize only shows that nothing is impossible," said Abu al-Aish.
"The only impossible thing is my daughters’ return."
The Gaza doctor said the nomination is a victory for humanity.
"It is a victory for intelligence, a victory for hope for positive change for our two people," he said.
Abu al-Aish said the nomination would further motivate him to do more for peace.
"I will continue on my path. It may give me more responsibility but it won’t change my faith.
"I am willing to sacrifice my private time for this goal, but right now I want to save lives."
Abu al-Aish is currently on an international tour aimed at promoting peace and urging the world to help his people have an independent state.
His tour includes Belgium, France, Serbia, Canada and the United States.
The Gaza father has recently delivered a keynote speech in the European parliament.
The Palestinian physician believes that winning the prize would send a strong message.
"This prize will make my tragedy into something positive for the human race."
(IslamOnline.net and newspapers)