Salma Abuzaiter returns to Toronto

Salma Abuzaiter, centre, reunited with her mother at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday afternoon. The Brantford, Ont., girl was in Gaza when fighting between Israel and Hamas broke out. (John Paul Tasker/CBC)

Eight-year-old Salma Abuzaiter is back home after her mother pressed Canadian authorities to help her daughter get out of Gaza, where she had been taken by her father prior to the latest fighting breaking out.

Her mother and brothers met her at Toronto's Pearson International Airport to take her home to Brantford, Ont.

"I'm so happy to have my baby back," said Wesam Abuzaiter, Salma's mother. She thanked Canadian officials for their help.

The girl's arrival followed a week of media attention as her mother sought to get her daughter out of Gaza. Salma went to Gaza with her father, Hassan Abuzuiter, a physician, before the latest round of fighting in the region broke out. She was staying with her grandparents there. 

As the war escalated, her father felt he couldn't leave his work in the emergency room treating wounded civilians to escort his daughter from the country, according to the girl's mother.

But this week, during a ceasefire, Hassan Abuzuiter escorted his daughter to the Israeli border and into the care of Canadian officials. From there, she was transported to Amman, Jordan, and flew from there to Toronto.