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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Massachusetts family is safe at home after escaping Gaza, another family makes it to Egypt

By Rick Sobey Boston Herald

A Massachusetts family is safe at home after being trapped in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war, while another family has fled the war zone and made it into Egypt.

Abood Okal, Wafaa Abuzayda, and their 1-year-old son Yousef finally arrived at Boston Logan International Airport on Monday, and they’re now at their Medway home after escaping from Gaza.

“The Okal Family continues to be incredibly thankful for their family and friends around the world who spoke up on their behalf, the Medway community, the media for sharing their plight and the plight of the hundreds of other Americans trapped in Gaza, their elected officials who fought hard for their return, and the State Department for providing them with safe departure,” a family spokesperson said in a statement.

“While the Okal Family is relieved to be home in Medway, their thoughts continue to be with their family, including both Abood and Wafaa’s parents, and the other innocent civilians who are still in Gaza, who may not have the same opportunity they had to leave and who continue to suffer from hunger, dehydration, lack of access to fuel and medicine, and intensifying air strikes,” the spokesperson added.

The Shafai family of Plymouth, Mass., also got out of Gaza and make it into Egypt, according to U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating.

“We welcome the good news that the Shafai family are out of Gaza and will soon be on their way home to the United States after weeks of our entreaties to the Department of State, and Israeli and Egyptian officials,” Markey and Keating said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

“Hazem, Sanaa, Seera, Yumna, and Jasser have been in the thoughts and prayers of everyone in Massachusetts, and we must continue to push for every American citizen to return home safely,” Markey and Keating added. “We will continue calling for immediate humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza and for the immediate release of all hostages.”