Irish-Palestinian man reunited with family after escaping from Gaza

Emotional scenes have unfolded at Dublin Airport as an Irish-Palestinian man blocked from leaving Gaza when his wife and sons fled the enclave last year was finally reunited with his family.

Zak Hania arrived in Ireland on a flight from Cairo on Saturday, having made it out of Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

Mr Hania’s wife, Batoul, and their four sons, were able to leave Gaza via the Rafah border last November and are now living in Dublin.

Israel-Hamas conflict
Zak Hania’s wife Batoul and the couple’s four sons had campaigned to get him out of Gaza (PA)

However, he was not accepted on to the list of evacuees and was left in the besieged territory.

Ms Hania and her four Irish-born sons, Mazen, Ismael, Ahmed and Nour, spent months campaigning on Mr Hania’s behalf and lobbied Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for help.

He had previously said he was afraid he would never see his family again.

Mr Hania embraced his wife and children as he emerged from arrivals at the airport on Saturday.

He dropped to his knees and kissed the ground.

“I have love and respect for this land,” he said. “Ireland is in my heart, as is Palestine.

“I don’t have enough words to thank you and to thank all the people who are going to the streets and being in the streets for a long time, and all the people who are making every effort to support the people in Gaza and to support Palestine and trying to stop this brutal genocide.

“I think Israel has taken off their mask and they are showing their real face.

“And we are, as human beings, we are showing our true humanity, and our determination to stop this crime and to be united all together, all of humanity, to be united to stop this crime.”