LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A war on the other side of the world has changed the life of a Little Rock man. He is suing the federal government as a last resort to get his wife and two young children out of Gaza.
Ramiz Younis said his family has attempted to exit Gaza through the Egyptian border seven times. They were in Gaza City when the attack started and fled south to Rafah where they feel stuck.
Since 2015, Younis has been a U.S. citizen, but he first came to America for his graduate degree decades ago. Younis said his wife, Folla, is a green card holder. His two-year-old son, Zain, and his 8-month-old daughter, Zaina, are both American citizens.
Younis was in Little Rock while his family visited relatives in Palestine. Their two-month trip was supposed to end in mid-October, but the war prevented that, and he said every day it goes on things are getting worse.
“They’ve been trapped in a situation called war. It’s not a war. It’s basically a blood bath. It’s a massacre,” Younis said. “My biggest fear of course is getting the bad news which I am expecting every moment.”
Ramiz’s wife, son and daughter have had close calls with two bombings which prevented a border crossing and made one shelter they were in unlivable. With food, water and shelter all becoming harder and harder to find, he filed a suit against the Departments of State and Defense.
His attorneys, Justin Eisele and Mirriam Z. Seddiq, state in the lawsuit that Americans abroad should be the U.S. Government’s top priority, such as the Americans in Israel who have already been flown out of the country.
“Different people being treated differently, and the excuses are it’s hard it’s difficult. It’s not. It’s just excuses,” Eisele said.
The Department of State gave good news Wednesday.
“There are a number of American citizens who have crossed through Rafah and are in Egypt today,” DOS spokesperson Matthew Miller stated in a press briefing.
The State Department said it will take many days for about 1,000 American citizens and their families to get through the border along with other nationalities.
Ramiz hoped that would soon include his family.
“There is no place safe in Gaza, in whole of Gaza, and to be honest with you every time I spoke to (my wife) I feel this is the last time, maybe there won’t be a next time,” he said. “My kids, again, the same feeling. It’s so heartbreaking.”