Utah family stuck in Gaza as Israeli-Hamas war intensifies

Oct 12, 2023, 7:36 PM | Updated: 8:28 pm

HOLLADAY — A Utah family is stuck in Gaza amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

Julia Beseiso is Palestinian-American and moved to Utah at a young age. She said she and other members of her immediate family took a trip to Gaza back in March.

“My dad, he’s always lived over there,” Julia said.  “We wanted to go down and see him so we could all be together again. But I ended up leaving in June.”

And then the unthinkable, war breaking out at the Beseiso’s doorstep. Julia described the conditions as the worst she’s ever seen.

While she’s watching what’s unfolding from home, Julia said her family has made multiple attempts to contact the U.S. Embassy for help.

“But the lady who answered the phone practically told them that she was ordered not to help aid anyone from Gaza and practically just good luck.”

Making contact with her family has also proved to be difficult. “They go on the roof to try to get some type of signal, but it’s very dangerous” Julia said.  “I’m just constantly worried about my family because I’m like, did they lose connection or did something happen to them?”

Julia now trying raise awareness to bring them home.

“I feel useless. I feel like I can’t really do anything,” she said. “People say…time heals. But that’s not true in this scenario. Time is making it worse because it’s just leaving more time for you to overthink, more time for you to wonder what is really happening.”

KSL reached out to offices of Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Mike Lee. A spokesperson for Sen. Romney said, “Senator Romney’s office is working with the State Department to assist Utahns who are attempting to leave Israel and return to the United States.”

Sen. Lee’s office sent a similar message through Lee’s spokesperson, Billy Gribbin: “Senator Lee and his staff are monitoring the crisis in Israel and working with Utah families in Israel to help them communicate with the State Department, and we are keeping them updated with the latest information. U.S. citizens in Israel who need assistance should use the State Department’s crisis intake form found here. This is the best way to let the Embassy know where you are and what kind of assistance you need.”

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Utah family stuck in Gaza as Israeli-Hamas war intensifies