Israeli grandmother reunites with family in Houston: 'It's unbelievable'

Shannon Ryan Image
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Houston family reunites with Israeli grandma
Esther "Ettie" Okon's family worked tirelessly to get her out of Israel when the war broke out. Now, they're able to embrace one another.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston woman is finally able to hold her mother after working tirelessly to get her out of Israel.

On Tuesday, Esther "Ettie" Okon's plane landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and her daughter, Michaella Okon, picked her up.

"Like a drug. It's unbelievable," Ettie Okon said of the embrace.

Ettie Okon is an Israeli citizen and lives in a city near Tel Aviv. With only one airline flying in and out of the country at the moment, her family in Houston struggled to get her out of Israel when the war broke out.

SEE ALSO: Houstonian relieved to get mother out of Israel but fears war-based hate crimes at home

Ettie Okon told ABC13 she plans to stay with her daughter, her 7-year-old grandson, and newborn granddaughter in Houston until the war concludes.

"I have to have hugs. I need it," she said, describing the past two weeks as a "nightmare."

ABC13 has also reported on local Palestinian-American families with loved ones trapped on the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, they remained among the hundreds of Americans stranded at the Rafah Crossing. The Biden Administration said Hamas is blocking their entry to Egypt.

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