Scotland’s First Minister has said his mother-in-law has described living through “torture” in Gaza.
Elizabeth El-Nakla and her husband Maged – the parents of Humza Yousaf’s wife Nadia – travelled to Gaza before hostilities flared up earlier this month to visit family, becoming trapped.
Both Mr Yousaf and his wife have been candid about their fears for their safety.
During a visit to the flood-hit town of Brechin, Angus, Mr Yousaf could be seen speaking on the phone, walking away from his advisers to take the call, which was later revealed to be from his mother-in-law.
Speaking to journalists during the visit, the First Minister said: “They’re really living in a situation that my mother-in-law describes as torture.
“The whole night there will be missiles, rocket fire, drones – they don’t know whether they are going to make it from one night to the next.
“They’re down to six bottles of clean drinking water in a house of 100 people, including a two-month-old baby, she tells me.”
Mr Yousaf – on behalf of Elizabeth – went on to urge the UK Government to use its influence as an ally of Israel to “demand” the Rafah border crossing in the south of the Gaza Strip be opened for those who want to leave, and for more aid to be brought into the country.
“She’s asking me, she’s pleading with me, and I’m pleading with the UK Government, not to just ask for the border to be opened, but to demand that Rafah crossing is opened and there’s a ceasefire right now,” he said.
“Because above and beyond my mother-in-law and father-in-law who are two people, there’s 2.2 million people in Gaza.
“The vast majority are innocent men, women and children, nothing to do with Hamas or their terrible terrorist atrocities, who are suffering.
“Every single one of us has seen the images, we’ve all seen the pictures, we’re all heartbroken and yet there is no ceasefire.
“People who want to leave should be allowed to leave, and we need far more aid than a trickle of 15 or 20 trucks going in every single day, so I hope the international community will step up their efforts to help the innocent people of Gaza.”