Gaza Doctor to Share US Prize with Sderot Woman Next Week in Manhattan


abuelasihDr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Gaza doctor who in January lost three of his daughters when IDF soldiers fired tank shells on his home, thinking there were terrorists inside, will share the Niarchos Prize for Survivorship with Nomika Zion from Sderot. The prize, sponsored by the group Survivor Corps, will be presented to the two on April 29 in New York City as Palestinian and Israeli survivors of war and violence.

The physician, who continues to work at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, appeared on Israeli TV programs immediately after the tragedy and while expressing immense grief, he called for peace, provoking a strong positive reaction in Israel and across the world.

Zion lives in an urban kibbutz in Sderot, where she works mostly from home in a concrete shelter. In January, she published War Diary from Sderot about her experiences, and opposes the glorification of the war by some in the name of Sderot residents.

“I am frightened that… we are losing the human ability to see the other side, to feel, to be horrified and to show empathy,” she wrote.

Survivor Corps is a global network helping people recover from war and rebuild their communities and was a leader in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Land Mines.

Jerry White, the co-founder and executive director, lost his leg to a land mine in the Golan Heights 25 years ago. He later escorted Diana, Princess of Wales, on her last humanitarian mission to Bosnia and then spearheaded efforts to promote a mine-free Middle East with the late Jordanian King Hussein and his wife Queen Noor.

Last month he visited the region again to launch Survivor Corps’ Israeli-Palestinian program.

Two days before the ceremony at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, in Manhattan, Abuelaish and Zion – together with survivors from Bosnia and Rwanda – will share their stories with the public at the Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington.

{Yair Israel/JPost}