Dutchman returns medal to Israel after relatives killed

A Dutchman awarded for protecting a Jewish child from Nazis has returned his medal to Israel after his relatives were killed in Gaza.

Dutchman returns medal to Israel after relatives killed

World Bulletin / News Desk

A 91-year-old Dutchman who was awarded a medal by Israel in 2011 for hiding a Jewish child from Nazis during World War II has returned his medal back to Israel after six of his relatives were killed in an air strike on Gaza.

Henk Zanoli sent a letter to Israeli ambassador Haim Davon in The Hague to say he could no longer wanted the "Righteous Among the Nations" medal following the attack on his great-niece's Gaza home on July 20, which killed her husband's mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and nine-year-old nephew.

"To hold on to the honour granted to me by the State of Israel under these circumstances, would be an insult... to those in my family, four generations on, who lost no less than six of their relatives in Gaza," Zanoli wrote in a letter published by Haaretz.

"The great-great grandchildren of my mother have lost their grandmother, three uncles, an aunt and a cousin at the hands of the Israeli military," he added.

Mr Zanoli, who is a retired lawyer, also slammed Israel's bombing of the Gaza Strip, calling incidents like the one that targeted the home of his great-niece, a Dutch diplomat in Gaza, "war crimes and crimes against humanity."

The medal was then reportedly returned to the Israeli embassy in the Netherlands.

The Palestinian death toll from Israel's weeks-long military onslaught on the Gaza Strip rose to 1980 to Saturday, and at least 10,196 Palestinians have also been injured.

The fatalities included 470 children, 343 women and 88 elderly people.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ağustos 2014, 14:06