A Daly City grandmother has escaped besieged Gaza, and her lawsuit against top U.S. officials has been dropped, her lawyer said Monday.
U.S. citizen Nawal Alghalayini, 81, traveled in August to visit her childhood home in Gaza with her son, according to her lawyer Ghassan Shamieh.
Alghalayini became trapped in Gaza after Israel began bombarding it in response to an attack early last month on Israel by Hamas, which controls Gaza and is deemed a terrorist group by the U.S., Canada and the EU. Israeli authorities say Hamas killed more than 1,400 people and took some 200 hostages. The Gaza Ministry of Health said Sunday that Israel’s attacks on Gaza have killed more than 9,700 people.
A “medically fragile” Alghalayini tried several times to flee Gaza via the Rafah border crossing into Egypt before succeeding early Friday morning, Shamieh said. “Her daughter has flown out to meet her in Cairo and when her health allows they will travel back to the Peninsula,” Shamieh said.
Alghalayini’s lawsuit filed last week accused Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin of violating the U.S. Constitution by not evacuating Palestinian Americans from Gaza. The State Department said in response that getting the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt open for U.S. citizens to leave Gaza was a top priority.
On Sunday, U.S. deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer told CBS News that although U.S. citizens remained in Gaza, “over the last several days, through pretty intensive negotiations with all sides relevant to this conflict, we have been able to get out more than 300 Americans, lawful permanent residents and their family members.”
Shamieh on Friday withdrew Alghalayini’s lawsuit in San Francisco U.S. District Court. It’s unclear whether her lawsuit had any effect on her departure.