There were tears at Dublin Airport as an Irish-Palestinian widower was reunited with his two young children.
A group of Irish citizens arrived at Dublin Airport from Cairo on Sunday evening after efforts to ensure Irish citizens were allowed to exit the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.
As father Khalid El Estal dropped to his knees to embrace his son Ali as he walked through arrivals, a crowd of supporters waved Palestinian flags and chanted “free, free Palestine”.
Mr El Estal’s one-year-old daughter Sara, wearing a pink fluffy onesie, was held by her uncle who accompanied the children to Ireland.
The father is grieving the loss of his wife Ashwak, who died after shelling of Gaza last month.
“Finally, we did it,” he said as he held his children. “We lost a lot, I lost my wife, their mum, and my mum, my brother.
“But it’s OK, we’ll be strong, I’ll take care of them and will do everything. Thank you to everyone.”
Palestinian ambassador Dr Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid thanked Ireland for its efforts to get its citizens out of Gaza.
“First of all I would like to thank Ireland very much for putting the effort to bring the Palestinians, Irish citizens, to Ireland,” she said.
“I know the Tanaiste (Micheal Martin) and the Irish people, they put huge effort to bring the Palestinians (here) safe. It breaks my heart to see them here. I want to see all the Palestinian people safe in Gaza.
“This genocidal war against the Palestinians should stop and I want to raise my voice from here in Ireland to the whole world: I think it’s enough, enough the killing of the Palestinians, enough killing of innocent people.”
She said she knew some of the Irish-Palestinians arriving at Dublin Airport on Sunday.
“Whatever we can do, definitely we will not save any effort to help our Palestinians here. I know that they are Irish but they are Palestinians originally. So we will not spare any effort to help.”