Who are Wafa Abuzayda and Abood Okal? Couple Stuck in Gaza

Alice Wallin

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Who are Wafa Abuzayda and Abood Okal? Couple Stuck in Gaza
  • Abood Okal and Wafa Abuzayda, a couple from Massachusetts, together with their young kid are stuck in Gaza.
  • Due to acute shortages of gasoline, food, and water, their predicament is becoming worse.
  • They feel abandoned since the US government hasn’t helped them.

A family from Massachusetts has been stuck in Gaza for many weeks due to the continuing fighting between Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiers. The dearth of basic supplies has made their precarious condition much worse, as they are frantically trying to find a route back home while having insufficient access to gasoline, food, water, and communication.

Who are Abood Okal and Wafa Abuzayda?

On October 7, a sudden outburst of violence struck as the couple in question, Abood Okal and Wafa Abuzayda, were visiting relatives in Gaza with their one-year-old son, Yousef. On October 13, when they were supposed to return to their house in Medway, Massachusetts, they became stuck in an area that was in danger and mayhem.

Couple Stuck in Gaza

The family’s lawyer and close friend Sammy Nabulsi provided information on their fragile predicament, calling it “extremely dangerous and dire,” with every day that goes by making things worse for them.

The family is now sleeping in a single-family house with 40 other individuals seeking refuge, according to Nabulsi, who brought attention to the difficulties the family was facing. As they have been doing for little over two weeks, they are now forced to sleep on the floor. Their main worry has been getting access to water.

One of their challenges was the lack of water. Their capacity to pump and filter water was significantly hampered by their lack of fuel, so their only remaining option was to ingest raw seawater.

The family not only had trouble finding water, but they also had trouble finding food, with hours in queue waiting to buy basic necessities like bread. Their one-year-old child, Yousef, was particularly vulnerable to nutritional issues since he had ran out of milk and there was no way to get more in the area.

The constant threats that come with being in a combat zone added to their experience. In an audio message sent via Nabulsi, Abood Okal described the terrifying experiences of seeing many airstrikes near their makeshift home, which increased their anxieties and vulnerabilities.

They were struggling to preserve even the most basic essentials for their existence, which highlighted the gravity of their predicament given the rising violence and worsening circumstances.

Stranded and Abandoned

The family experienced a feeling of abandonment despite their attempts to contact diplomatic offices and the US government for help, since they were not given any specific information or support for their escape. Disappointed with the U.S. authorities’ lack of action, Nabulsi highlighted the glaring difference between the efforts being made to remove Americans from Israel and those who were left behind in Gaza.

“A citizen is a citizen, is a citizen,” he asserts. Which side of the wall they are on shouldn’t matter. Their own government owes them a duty of protection and security.

Despite being given precise dates and times for possible evacuations, attempts to flee Gaza were consistently blocked. They were forced to rely on a complicated geopolitical impasse involving Israel, Egypt, and the Hamas administration after each effort was thwarted by administrative barriers and obstructions.

The family’s limited gasoline supply made it difficult for them to rely on vehicle access to the Rafah Crossing, so they had to think twice before taking their little kid on a dangerous walk.

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