Israeli Woman Makes Gaza Getaway With Kids

Oshrit Ochana made her getaway from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip wearing a traditional Islamic hijab. She and her four young children arrived on the Israeli side of the border Tuesday after a harrowing ordeal.

The 29-year-old Israeli woman, originally from the city of Ashdod, married a Palestinian from Gaza seven years ago. They first lived together in Egypt, but then moved to Gaza.

Her husband Abdallah began working as a smuggler in the hundreds of tunnels that run under the border between Gaza and Egypt.

Her husband was recently imprisoned in Egypt trying to travel illegally to Europe. It was then she decided she had to get out.

"That was no life for me and the children. They had dreams that I wanted to make true and we couldn't as long as we remained in Gaza. Now I am trying to forget everything," she told the Jerusalem Post.

She has four children, Mahmoud, 7; Abdel Rahman, 5; Sali, 6; and Asam, almost 2.

Her relatives in Israel contacted a controversial ultra orthodox Jewish organization that tries to extricate Jewish women from marriages with Palestinians.

Israeli security forces at the Erez border crossing with Israel were alerted to a secret plan to get Oshrit and her children out of Gaza.

But even getting out of her husband's family home in Gaza proved difficult. His relatives were suspicious of her intentions, and at one point her brother-in-law threatened to kill her if she tried to escape.

Despite her fear, on Tuesday morning she managed to get herself and the four kids into the back of a taxi and all the way to the border. At the Hamas checkpoint she said she had permission to leave Gaza to visit her sick father in Israel and they let her through.

Oshrit Could Face Prosecution in Israel

Safely inside the Israeli checkpoint she was questioned by Israeli agents until one of her children collapsed from exhaustion and dehydration. The family was then rushed to a nearby hospital.

Oshrit plans to starts a new life and wants to rename her children with Hebrew names.

"I was stupid" she said. "I had a friend who introduced me to Abdallah. We had fun together. We danced and drank, I got carried away."

It is illegal for Israelis to enter the Gaza Strip. Police are planning to question her and despite her escape she may face prosecution.

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