Leaving Gaza for Australia gets harder for families forced to make long trek without consular assistance

ABC | Nabil Al-Nashar and Orly Halpern | 18 February 2024

God bless this family and all those who have helped them and those few others who have managed to get out – losing everything is better than losing your life – what a terrible ordeal to experience – Mark

Mariam Dawwas lost her father, all her belongings and her homeland in her escape from Gaza to Australia.

The 31-year-old single mother landed in Sydney on Friday afternoon with her five-year-old daughter, her mother and two sisters.

She said the price of their escape was too much to bear.

“A really long journey, pain, terrifying, fear and sacrifice. The price is much, I cannot describe it, I cannot say it in words.”

After the October 7 attacks by Hamas on southern Israel, the Israeli army began bombing the Gaza Strip.

According to the United Nations, 1,200 Israelis and 28,472 Palestinians, including more than 11,000 children, have been killed in the conflict.

Two days after the attacks, Mariam’s father, Mohammed, a journalist for the British newspaper The Independent, suffered a stroke.

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