Palestinian Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, whose three daughters were killed during Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Army Radio reported on Monday.
The nomination was announced by Belgium's state secretary, who described al-Aish to the Arabic-language daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat as a "soldier of peace." The doctor has been awarded honorary Belgian citizenship "in recognition of his efforts in service of humanity," said the state secretary.
According to A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Minority Affairs Minister Professor Avishay Braverman has called Dr. Abu al-Aish to congratulate him, calling the nomination a victory for humanity.
Abu al-Aish, a father of eight who was trained in Israel, became one of the symbols of the Gaza offensive after he was broadcast on television immediately after an Israeli shell killed three of his daughters and his niece.
In a report drenched with sobs, al-Aish said he hoped his three daughters would be the last victims of the fighting in Gaza, and that their deaths would help bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
"I want to know why my daughters were harmed. This should haunt (Israeli Ehud Prime Minister) Olmert his entire life," Abu al-Aish said on Israel's Channel 10, speaking through a cell phone in Hebrew as he has throughout the war.
He added that his daughters were "armed only with love."
The IDF shelled the al-Aish home after troops reported having been fired upon by snipers situated in the house adjacent to theirs, according to an IDF investigation.
The troops identified suspicious figures in the upper levels of the doctor's building, and deduced that they were serving as observers, directing the sniper fire from their vantage point.
The Israeli commander on he ground decided to fire tank shells at the building, hitting al-Aish's home and killing three of his daughters.
Abu al-Aish had denied that there were any militants in the building at the time of the shelling, but thanked those responsible for investigating the incident by saying that "we all make mistakes, and we don't repeat them."
"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. This strengthened my conviction to continue on the same path and not to give up," al-Aish said after the release of the investigation's conclusions.
The 55-year-old gynecologist trained in Israeli hospitals and speaks Hebrew.