Last week, Croatia welcomed a new family of eight Palestinians who were forced to flee their war-torn home in Gaza. The Elaydy family, consisting of Esame Elaydy and his wife and six children, are now residing in Vukovar after being transferred from Egypt by the Croatian embassy.
Esame Elaydy is a Croatian veteran who lived in Croatia until 2000 before returning to Gaza to care for his sick mother. Just before the start of the war in Gaza, he went to Egypt to extend his Croatian passport and arrange documents for his family. However, the war broke out and the borders with Egypt were closed, leaving him unable to return to his family. Thanks to the help of the Croatian embassy in Egypt, the Elaydys were able to escape from Gaza and find refuge in Croatia.
The Elaydys are now warm and safe in their new home in Vukovar, which was given to them by a resident of the town who owns a construction company. The house had previously been occupied by workers from the company who temporarily moved out so that the family could stay there. Esame Elaydy expressed his gratitude to the gentleman who gave them the house, as well as thanking those who helped them through media coverage and bringing food and clothing. He also mentioned that he has been contacted by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and will receive one-time aid as a result of his service in Croatia’s war.
The Elaydys are currently working on obtaining all necessary documentation for their stay in Croatia, including health certificates and police registrations. They hope to be able to find jobs soon so that they can support themselves financially. Esame Elaydy mentioned that he will do whatever it takes to make sure his family is comfortable and secure in their new home.
Despite having fled war-torn Gaza, Esame Elaydy said that he believes civilians did not die in such numbers as they did during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge campaign against Hamas militants. He said that one bomb can kill up to 300 people there compared to just a few casualties during Israel’s operation against Hamas militants. His main concern now is ensuring that his wife and children are alive and healthy after leaving behind everything they knew in Gaza.