3 Gaza Students Who Visited Japan Get Stuck in Amman on Their Way Home Due to Conflict

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Students from the Gaza Strip visit the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on Oct. 5.

Three students from the Gaza Strip who visited Tokyo and Hiroshima on a U.N. agency’s program from Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 are unable to return home from Amman, where they were on layover following their visit to Japan, due to the conflict back home.

They are praying for the safety of their families and friends in Gaza.

Miki Yoshida of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Gaza Office, who is accompanying the children, told The Yomiuri Shimbun that their families have safely evacuated to the southern Gaza Strip. However, with the nonstop airstrikes and poor communication environment, “We don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Yoshida said. “The three are trying to cope with the situation, but …”

The home of one of the students, Fadi Ali, 13, was destroyed in the conflict. According to Yoshida, Ali said that his home in northern Gaza was also destroyed in the 2014 military clashes. “I lost my home again,” Ali reportedly said.

The children began attending a school run by UNRWA in Amman from Sunday. However, they seem to be feeling guilty for being in a safe place on their own.

The three visited Hiroshima to interact with Japanese high school students, and they talked about their dreams of becoming journalists and scientists in the future.

“I hope that [Japanese people] will think about how to realize a world in which children will never experience war again,” Yoshida said.