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Irish-Palestinian man reunited with family after escaping from Gaza

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

Zak Hania arrived in Ireland on Saturday on a flight from Cairo after leaving Gaza via the Rafah border crossing.

Mr Hania’s wife, Batoul, and their four sons were able to leave Gaza through the Rafah border last November and now live 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 admitted to the list of evacuees and was left behind in the besieged area.

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

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

Hania hugged his wife and children as he emerged from the airport on Saturday.

He fell to his knees and kissed the ground.

“I have love and respect for this country,” he said. “Ireland is in my heart, just like Palestine.

“I don’t have enough words to thank you and to thank all the people who are taking to the streets and have been on the streets for a long time, and all the people who are doing everything they can to support the people of Gaza and support Palestine and try to to stop brutal genocide.

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

“And we, as human beings, show 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.”