Dr. Abu al-Aish's evident grief over his slain daughters will likely be remembered as one of the most difficult images of this war.
On Friday evening, around 5 P.M., the mobile phone of Channel 10 News correspondent Shlomi Eldar began ringing incessantly while he was appearing on Oshrat Kotler's evening news program. Eldar had planned to interview Abu al-Aish on the show, as he had several times during the operation, to get an update on the goings-on in Gaza.
As his phone continued to ring, Eldar suspected something was amiss and answered during the broadcast. On live television, Eldar and viewers alike listened as the physician expressed his anguish over his daughters.
"During the 5 P.M. news flash, while I was reading the day's news items, I saw Shlomi waving his arms," Kotler said. "Usually correspondents don't interrupt presenters, but soon enough we learned about the tragedy."
Eldar decided he could not continue the broadcast, and left the studio for his dressing room. Along with the station's military analyst,
Alon Ben-David, he made frantic telephone calls to military officials to persuade them to allow the doctor's family members to be evacuated to Israel for treatment.
Channel 10 employees said after the commentators were shown working on Abu al-Aish's behalf, the station was flooded with critical feedback from viewers accusing the station of harming Israel's image abroad and the war effort itself.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now