‘We can’t help but feel a little frustrated’: Medway family stuck in Gaza still awaiting rescue

As the calendar changes from October to November, a Medway family awaiting rescue from the Gaza Strip can’t help but feel anxious as supplies run low.

Abood Okal, Wafaa Abuzayda, and their toddler Yousef are among hundreds of American citizens who remain stuck in the region since fighting renewed between Israel and Hamas in early October.

On Wednesday, Abood left a voice message with his lawyer, detailing the family’s frustration as 40 of his relatives remained cramped into a single-family home in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza near the Egyptian border.

“We’ve been sheltering here for a few weeks...we chose to stay as close as we can so we can be ready on a moment’s notice to cross the border into Egypt,” Abood said.

Hundreds of foreign passport holders, including some Americans and wounded Palestinians, were able to cross the border into Egypt on Wednesday. However, Abood’s family was not one of them.

“While we’re happy for all that have departed...we can’t help but feel a little frustrated it’s taken longer than expected,” Abood said.

Tuesday night brought heavy bombings in the area that rocked nearby neighborhoods, according to Abood. He also says that, like many, finding reliable drinking water has become a big problem. He allegedly had to wander the streets of Rafah for hours just to find water.

“We have one gallon for all forty members of the family,” Abood said. “We do our best to ration it...make sure everyone stays hydrated.”

Beyond that, he says maintaining the ability to communicate electronically has become a struggle with rolling power outages.

“We trust that our state department is doing its best to get us out of Gaza before it’s too late,” Abood said.

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

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