Irish-Palestinian Zak Hania granted passage from Gaza Strip to Dublin

It has been a long, tiring journey, he said in a WhatsApp message

Irish-Palestinian man Zak Hania has left the Gaza Strip and is expected to be reunited with his family in Dublin this weekend.

Mr Hania left Gaza through the Rafah Crossing on Tuesday. After clearing Egyptian border checks, he reached Cairo on Wednesday. It had been a long, tiring journey, he said in a WhatsApp message.

He is expected to arrive in Dublin on Saturday.

Mr Hania’s wife Batoul and Irish-born sons Mazen, Ismael, Ahmed and Nour left Gaza in November, and have been campaigning for his safe passage for months. Mr Hania was initially denied permission to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing. Permission to leave through Rafah must be sanctioned by both Israeli and Egyptian authorities.


In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that “a number of Irish citizens and dependants crossed from Gaza into Egypt” on Tuesday, but did not comment specifically on Mr Hania’s case.

“Our Embassy in Cairo is in contact with these citizens and is providing consular support,” a spokesperson said.

Since Israel’s offensive on Gaza began last October, Mr Hania moved from his home in Gaza City, to Khan Younis in the south, before being pushed south against to Rafah.

From Gaza City, Mr Hania returned to the enclave from Ireland about a decade ago. He had moved to Ireland in 1998, and lived in Castleknock, west Dublin for a period.

A researcher and translator, he holds a master’s degree from Dublin City University.

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist