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“I can’t believe it, I thought I was going to die”, says repatriated from Gaza upon arriving in Brazil

Until now I can’t believe that I’m here, that I’m still alive, I thought I was going to die, said Brazilian repatriated from the Gaza Strip Shaed Al-Banna, last Monday (13), upon arriving at the Brasília Air Base.

“We thought October 7th would be a normal day. I was getting ready to go to college and suddenly they started bombing everywhere, without warning, and we were scared. At one point, we even thought that we wouldn’t be able to get out of there and that we would all die and no one would know about us”, said Shaed.

“But, thank God, thanks to the Brazilian government and thanks to the president of Brazil, the Air Force, the embassy and everyone, we are here now”, he continued.

Shaed, who lives in São Paulo, said he went to Gaza because his mother had cancer and wanted to say goodbye to his family who were there. She died upon arriving at the enclave.

Shaed’s grandmother had not been placed on the first list due to a “mere error”. She was later included and returned to Brazil.

Arrival in Brasilia

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) went to the Air Base to welcome the citizens, who waited more than three weeks before obtaining authorization to leave the enclave hit by the war between Israel and Hamas.

Of the 34 people who asked the Brazilian government to be repatriated – 24 Brazilians and 10 close Palestinian family members – 32 left the conflict area. According to the CNN two Brazilians, mother and daughter, decided to stay in the Palestinian territory for personal reasons.

Those rescued will be able to request inclusion in Bolsa Família and other assistance benefit programs, according to the Ministry of Social Development.

The group of Brazilians will spend two nights in accommodation at the Base Area, where they will be looked after by social workers, in addition to receiving medical and psychological care.

Everyone will undergo immigration regularization and will be included in the Single Registry, which allows them to benefit from the federal government’s social programs.

Source: CNN Brasil

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