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UK family who fled Gaza fear for those left behind

  • Published
    21 hours ago

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A British family who fled Gaza with only a small suitcase between six of them have said they do not know what the future now holds and they fear for the lives of those left behind.

Emad Abuaassi and his wife Stephanie moved to Gaza from Blackpool a year ago, to be closer to his family.

After the conflict began they left their flat in the middle of the night.


They crossed the border into Egypt on 3 November and flew back to the UK but do not have anywhere permanent to live.

Emad Abuassi said their family home in northern Gaza had been completely destroyed and he was worried for the safety of his mother, brothers and sisters in southern Gaza.

“This is the saddest moment I have been across in my whole life,” he said.

“When I left the border I was looking behind me like just measuring who’s going to be alive and who’s going to have died after all this.

“Everybody’s life there is in danger.

“Could be my mom passed away tomorrow, my brother, my cousin, my neighbour my friend.”

He and his wife and four children have been housed in emergency hotel accommodation in Cardiff and are waiting to hear about temporary housing.

They are anxious for the children to resume schooling, after their education came to an abrupt end on 7 October.

They also need medical aid, as Mrs Abuaassi has also been without the medication she needs for 15 days.


More on Israel-Gaza war

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The couple’s 14-year-old son said he was also worried about his relatives in Gaza who were all staying together in one house, but that he was happy to be back in the UK in emergency hotel accommodation.

“It’s better than being in a flat with 50 people,” he said.

“I mean it’s nice having a bed to sleep on instead of sleeping on the mattress on the floor.”

He and his two brothers and younger sister are sharing two hotel rooms with their parents as they wait to find out if they can be housed.

He said he missed studying and wanted to return to education.

“As soon as we get settled, we can start to get into school and that was kind of the most important thing right now to get into school,” he said.

“So yeah, we need to get a house.”

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