Families file lawsuit against US government pleading for grandmothers' evacuation from Gaza

ByLuz Pena KGO logo
Friday, November 3, 2023
Families with grandmothers in Gaza file lawsuit against US government
Bay Area families with loved ones stranded in Gaza are filing a lawsuit against the US government, hoping their efforts will expedite the process.

SAN FRANCISCO -- After nearly four weeks of airstrikes in Gaza, San Francisco Bay Area families are filing a lawsuit against the US government pleading for their loved ones to be evacuated before it's too late.

"My grandmother is in her 60's, she is in Gaza right now, she is stuck, she can't get out," said Asher Rous, among those filing the lawsuit. "She has a US passport and they are not letting her through the border."

The last time Asher spoke to his grandmother was October 26. As she hid and ran for cover she sent him voice recordings of bombs threatening her life as she said goodbye.

"She was just crying and she didn't know what to say," said Rous. "I didn't know what to say. Imagine having your grandmother telling you 'I don't know if I'm going to survive this because we might die from a bomb that is nearby.'"

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As fights continue, this week several Bay Area families filed a lawsuit against the US government demanding action.

"We are here to demand that the US government immediately and safely evacuate every single American citizen from the Gaza Strip," said Attorney Ghassan Shamieh. "Including the two grandmothers of the boys behind me."

Sayed Bseiso was raised by his grandmother. She is an 81-year-old US citizen. Bseiso said his grandmother traveled to Gaza recently to visit family after not being back in 30 years. For almost a month now she has been trying to get out.

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"She hasn't slept in a bed. She is 81 years old and frail," said Bseiso. "Sleeping on cement floors or whatever she has at the moment. There is 28 people in a room is what she is telling me which is inhumane."

Bseiso spoke to his grandmother two days ago. She told him she'd had to move five times in less than 30 days.

Gaza's Health Ministry confirmed more than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war. The Bay Area families in the lawsuit are hoping their efforts will expedite evacuations.

"We are hoping it applies sufficient legal pressure on our government to secure her safety as well as the safety of other us citizens who are stuck in Gaza," said Dina Bseiso, whose family members are in Gaza.

The US government has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit once it's served.

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What is giving these families hope is that the White House announced that 74 US citizens arrived at the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing and headed home.

Hours after interviewing Rous ABC7 received reports that his grandmother did cross into Egypt.

"We are relieved to know that my grandmother has made it into Egypt and we are continually working to get her home safely to the United States," said Rous. "Our hearts remain with the other US citizens who remain stranded in Gaza."