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Massachusetts family stranded in Gaza speaks out about situation on the ground: ‘Our frustration continues’

The Massachusetts family stranded in Gaza amid the ongoing war between Israeli forces and Hamas terrorists said they continue to struggle to access drinking water, fuel and other resources and are hoping for safety as they await updates from the U.S. government about a possible exit plan.

Abood Okal, Wafa Abuzayda and their 1-year-old son, Yousef, were visiting family in Gaza when Hamas launched its largest attack against Israel on Oct. 7. The family has been in the region since late September, and had intended to return home to Medway, Massachusetts, on Oct. 13 before the violence delayed their plans.

In an audio recording obtained by Fox News Digital, Okal explained that the family ran out of drinking water on Sunday and that a nearby desalination station had run out of fuel needed to power generators. He said they have been roaming the main roads and streets in Rafah City, where they are staying in a single-family home with 40 other people including his sister Haneen and her three kids, in search of trucks or carriages carrying tanks of 1,000 or 2,000 liters of drinking water. Haneen and her children are also Americans.

“We stood in line, I think it was for maybe about two hours, to fill one gallon. They tried to limit the portions, so ours was a gallon. And we’re hoping that would last us for the rest of the day today and for most of tomorrow until we could find another place to get drinking water from,” Okal said in the recording created on Monday.

Earlier this month, President Biden announced a deal to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Shortly after the announcement, Egypt, Israel and the United Nations facilitated a 20-truck convoy carrying humanitarian assistance through the Rafah Crossing. The State Department spokesperson said officials are continuing to work on delivering additional aid to Gaza.

However, the agreement to deliver aid to Gaza did not include helping any Americans leave the region. The State Department has previously estimated that as many as 600 Americans could be in Gaza.

As many as 9,700 people have been killed on both sides of the war since Hamas launched its largest attack on the Jewish State in decades on Oct. 7, prompting retaliatory action from Israeli forces. The death toll in Israel includes at least 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers and 33 Americans. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and 110 in the West Bank. Thousands more have been wounded, and many others have been taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered.


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