A Tampa mother says she hasn’t heard from her children, who are in Gaza with their father, since the war broke out weeks ago.
Hana Elnagar said over the summer her five children traveled with their father from Tampa to Gaza to visit their grandparents. They are expected to come home around Christmas time.
“I don’t want to think bad things about my children,” she said.
Elnagar spoke to her children before the war broke out earlier this month but has not heard from them since.
“I still don’t know anything about my children,” she said. “There is no news, there is no one who can tell me if they are sure, if they are good.”
Elnagar’s friend Safa Qassm is helping her during this difficult time.
“They go from playing in a park in Tampa to seeing buildings completely leveled because of a war that they really don’t understand,” Qassm said.
Elnagar’s children are U.S. citizens and are all under 11 years old.
“My children have a wonderful life (in Tampa),” Elnagar said. “I don’t know if they’ll come back here or not.”
She hopes the federal government could step in to help find her children.
“I need help finding out where my children are,” Elnagar said. “I need help from Congress, the department and everyone here in the United States to help me get my children back… I need help to get my children back as quickly as possible, please.”
Senior US officials are calling for the first time for a pause in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip to bring hostages and Palestinian civilians to safety and to let in more humanitarian aid.
“Right now there are no active efforts to evacuate Americans from the region, other than what we are doing in Israel and offering charter flights. There is no active effort and we are not parking ships off the coast or preparing to send in Marines.” “If you come in to attract people, you pick the place over there, that’s not happening right now.” said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council.
Flights have successfully flown Americans and others out of Israel. Getting out of Gaza is not such an easy task, humanitarian aid is getting into Gaza but the borders are still closed.