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City employee evacuated from Gaza Strip to Egypt


Sohail Biary from Simi Valley

With the help of Mayor Karen Bass, a Los Angeles city employee who has been trapped in Gaza for weeks was safely evacuated to Egypt, thereby escaping the war and violence that has gripped the area since early October.

According to media reports, Sohail Biary from Simi Valley was visiting his parents in Gaza when the fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, a result of a deadly terrorist attack in Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Bass said in a statement released on Nov. 2 that her office has been working to get Biary to safety and she has been in regular contact with Biary's son.

“I am relieved to announce that the employee is now safe in a neighboring country and out of the war zone. I personally want to thank Tom Perez and the Biden administration, Sen. Alex Padilla, and Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26) for working with us to arrive at today's result. We look forward to welcoming our colleague home,'' Bass said in the statement.

Hundreds of people with foreign passports have been allowed to leave Gaza to Egypt since Nov. 1.  Many of those people are Americans looking to escape the war zone.

Gaza has been targeted by Israel with air strikes since October. The fighting began when Hamas terrorists attacked and killed more than 1,400 Israelis.

Biary's son, Khalid Biary, told the Ventura County Star about his father's situation last week. Sohail Biary, 53, traveled to Gaza City, his hometown, before war broke out in the area. He works as a district supervisor for the city's General Services Department and has four children, the Star reported.

“He came here with nothing and started a life here,'' Khalid Biary told the Star of his father, saying the elder Biary had sought asylum in the U.S. 30 years ago and settled in Simi Valley.

Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43) has called for a cease-fire in Gaza in noting the rising number of civilian deaths: 

“I call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza,” Waters said. “Hamas struck Israel with a terror attack on Oct. 7. One thousand, four-hundred Israelis died, and Israel was shocked and outraged by this deadly terrorist attack. Israel responded and, to date, over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed. According to Save the Children, ‘more children have been killed in the last three weeks in Gaza’ than have died in the last three years of all other global conflicts (3,600).

“The United States of America must work to seek a cease-fire as soon as possible. The killing of civilians must stop, and the U.S. must provide leadership in seeking and working for peaceful solutions to this devastating time in the history of the world.”