MEDWAY, Mass. (WWLP) – A family from Medway, who was trapped in Gaza for weeks as the Israel-Hamas war intensified, is now back home in Massachusetts.

The Okal family of three, who live in Medway, had been in Gaza for a family reunion. Friends say the trip was going great but days before they were set to return back to the Boston area, everything changed when Hamas attacked Israel on October 7th.

The family of three arrived at Boston Logan International Airport, after having crossed over the Gaza border into Egypt last Thursday.

In a statement, the family asked for privacy, but said they would share their story when they are ready, and added that their thoughts continue to be with their family, including their parents, and the other innocent civilians who are still in Gaza.

Senator Edward Markey and Congressman Bill Keating released the following statement on their return back to Massachusetts:

We welcome the good news that the Shafai family are out of Gaza and will soon be on their way home to the United States after weeks of our entreaties to the Department of State, and Israeli and Egyptian officials. Hazem, Sanaa, Seera, Yumna, and Jasser have been in the thoughts and prayers of everyone in Massachusetts, and we must continue to push for every American citizen to return home safely.

We will continue calling for immediate humanitarian assistance for civilians in Gaza and for the immediate release of all hostages.

Local News

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in 1953 by providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on X @WWLP22News, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.