‘Complete abandonment’: Medway family trapped in Gaza running low on supplies, friend says

The Medway family trapped in Gaza since fighting renewed between Israel and Hamas earlier this month is still hoping for rescue as food grows scarcer, a friend of the family told Boston 25 News Wednesday.

Abood Okal, Wafaa Abuzayda and their toddler Yousef are among hundreds of American citizens who remain overseas, waiting for word from the State Department regarding when they may be able to flee the war-torn region. The family had traveled to the region to visit relatives before the fighting turned the vacation into a nightmare.

Abood Okal had to travel from Rafah to the city of Khan Yunis Wednesday to get milk for their one-and-a-half-year-old Yousef, who is suffering from an ear infection, according to friend and attorney Sammy Nabulsi. During the approximately 6-mile journey, Okal relayed that there was an airstrike on a nearby building.

The family has been attempting to cross into Egypt to no avail.

On Sunday, Nabulsi told Boston 25′s Drew Karedes that the family was already running low on food and could not even find enough fuel to gas up a car. Several days later, Nabulsi says conditions have only worsened.

“[Okal] tells me they are almost out of cooking oil and will have to switch to cooking with wood fire soon. This family and all of the others are in a dire and dangerous situation, both from without and from within the confines of their own shelter,” Nabulsi remarks.

Nabulsi tells Boston 25 News he has been in touch with local leaders and the State Department but has still yet to receive an exact timeline for when the young family can be rescued. Nabulsi also expressed his frustration with President Joe Biden, who the attorney says did not comment on the efforts to free the American citizens trapped in Gaza.

“This is a complete abandonment of the American people, here and abroad,” said Nabulsi.

A spokesperson with Senator Ed Markey’s Office told Boston 25 News last weekend that they’ve been trying to help the Okal family.

“The Senator and his office will continue to do everything we can to assist Massachusetts families who have been unable to return home,” Markey’s Office said. “We’re encouraged by the Administration’s progress on evacuations however there needs to be heightened efforts on those in Gaza trying to return.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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