A 91-year-old Dutch man honoured by Israel for shielding a Jew from the Nazis has handed back his medal after six of his relatives were killed in a Gaza air strike.
Henk Zanoli returned his Righteous Among the Nations award to the Israeli ambassador in The Hague this week after an Israeli F-16 destroyed his great niece’s Gaza home, killing all inside.
“It is with great sorrow that I am herewith returning the medal I received as an honor and a token of appreciation from the State of Israel for the efforts and risks taken by my mother and her family in saving the life of a Jewish boy during the German occupation,” Zanoli said in a letter dated Monday.
According to Zanoli’s letter addressed to the Israeli ambassador, the bomb dropped by the Israeli military on July 20 during its massive Gaza offensive, flattened a four-story building at the Bureij Refugee Camp, killing all inside.
“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,” Zanoli said in the letter, published by liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz and widely circulated in the Dutch media.