Manchester mother reconnects with daughter trapped in Gaza after days of no contact

Sky News has reconnected a Manchester-based teacher stuck in Gaza with her sister and mother who've had no contact with her for almost two days.  

On a phone call Zaynab Wandawi said she was "alive and safe" despite the "intense bombing and firing" that was taking place on Sunday morning.

Her sister Esma who was added to the call was relieved after hearing Zaynab's voice for the first time since Thursday night.

Zaynab said to her sister: "I'm safe, we're all safe. The internet connection has been cut off and we've had no way of contacting you. Please tell mum that I'm okay and that I love her very much and I will be back home soon inshallah (God willing)".

A total communication blackout struck Gaza on Friday night as the territory came under heavy Israeli bombardment.

Residents were cut off from the outside world, from each other and from contacting the emergency services, though phone and internet access was gradually being restored over the weekend.

On Saturday, Zaynab's mother, Lalah Ali Faten, told Sky News how she was "living in a nightmare" and how the time with no contact had been "harrowing and very traumatic".

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But when she heard her daughter was alive and safe, she broke down in tears and said it "brings some peace".

"It's an immense relief to hear and to know that she got through one of the heaviest phases of bombing in the Gaza Strip," she said.

Though, she was "very worried" at the lack of bomb shelters and safety areas in the region.

On the phone call, Zaynab spoke of bombing from Israel around them.

"The firing can be heard all the time, it increased a lot [Sunday] morning and they're even targeting the borders as well as the north. We are all in one home and just waiting to leave when it's possible," she said.

Ms Faten said the entire family were instructed by the Foreign Office to move to the south of Gaza, near the Rafah border.

"Based on the videos she sent me, there are destruction of buildings all around where they are staying and on the border as well."

Zaynab added there has not been enough help.

"The Foreign Office said the IDF will increase their firing and bombing, but there was nothing about helping us to get out of Gaza and back to the UK. They have been useless and need to pull their finger out," she said.

Sky News has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.