‘Hopeful that we’ll live another day’: Medway family stuck in Gaza says airstrikes are intensifying

As the fighting on the Gaza Strip approaches its third week, the Medway family trapped near the Egyptian border says airstrikes are becoming more and more frequent as they struggle to find resources for their one-year-old son.

In a voice message sent to Boston 25 News, Abood Okal says his wife, Wafaa Abuzayda, and toddler Yousef have experienced an uptick in airstrikes as the family waits for word they will be able to cross the border into Egypt near the city of Rafah. On Wednesday, one airstrike hit a building about 900 feet from where the family is staying.

“It’s become constant all night and for most of the day. My son was not able to sleep until 1 o’clock in the morning. And then he was up again by 5 o’clock in the morning,” Okal says. “All it takes is one missile, one airstrike to miss its target or be too close to where you are and that has happened before to where we’re staying. And that would be it.”

Last week, friend and attorney Sammy Nabulsi told Boston 25 that Okal had to travel to a nearby city to get milk for his toddler suffering from an ear infection. On Wednesday, Okal said the supply had run dry and that tonight would be Yousef’s first night without milk.

“We’re hopeful that won’t be too bad of a night,” Okal said.

The family, originally visiting the region on a trip to visit family, says they are staying close to the Gaza border so that when the State Department gives them word, they will be able to cross into Egypt at a moment’s notice.

“We’re trying to stay strong. We’re trying to manage our supplies as much as possible. Basically securing drinking water day-to-day until we are able to get out with help from the State Department. And we’re hopeful that we’ll live another day to see that happen,” said Okal.

Nabulsi told Boston 25 News he has been in touch with local leaders and the State Department but has yet to receive an exact timeline for when the young family will be able to leave Gaza. He also says he has petitioned Congress to develop a safe zone over Rafah until the Americans waiting there are rescued.

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

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