The mother-in-law of Scotland’s First Minister said her goodbyes in a phone call sparked by a false alarm.
Both Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla have been candid about their fears for their family in the region, which also includes her 93-year-old grandmother her brother and his family.
Elizabeth sent a tearful video to her son-in-law this week, which was posted to X, formerly Twitter, where she questioned “Where is humanity? Where’s people’s hearts in the world, to let this happen in this day and age?”
This is Elizabeth El-Nakla. She is my mother-in-law. A retired nurse from Dundee, Scotland. She, like the vast majority of people in Gaza, has nothing to do with Hamas. She has been told to leave Gaza but, like the rest of the population, is trapped with nowhere to go. pic.twitter.com/D3ZUtnEmyO
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) October 13, 2023
Speaking on Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg from the SNP conference in Aberdeen, the First Minister said: “Last night was a very difficult night, if I’m honest.
“We got a call at one in the morning from my mother in law in a panic.”
Someone in the neighbourhood where they live, he said, had been told to evacuate their home because it was due to be hit, leaving neighbours “running to goodness and God knows where”.
“You can imagine the panic, and my mother-in-law was even saying her goodbyes, which was pretty hard to hear.”
The alert, however, was a “false alarm”, the First Minister said.
The First Minister also backed a potential UK Government scheme to accept Israelis and Palestinians seeking to flee the violence.
“Asked about such a move, Humza Yousaf said he “absolutely” supports it.
He added: “There’s many people who are worried about their relatives – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, atheist, agnostic – whether it’s those that are captured by Hamas or whether it’s those like my own family in Gaza.”
He went on to reiterate his calls for the opening of a humanitarian corridor to allow supplies to reach civilians in Gaza, as well as calling on the international community to deal with the “root cause” of the hostilities in the region.
“We have to, of course, bring people to the UK if we are able to, but also, if we want to stop this perpetual cycle of violence… then we also have to say unequivocally, and there should be no controversy about this statement, that an Israeli life and a Palestinian life are equal.
“We have to make sure that we never lose sight of that.”
Speaking at the SNP Conference later on Sunday, Nadia said she fears the city where her family has a home is being “obliterated”.
“Instead of sending spy planes, the UK should be sending supplies,” she told the conference.
“We are not watching a natural disaster, this can be stopped. This can only happen when the world leaders use diplomacy instead of weaponizing and strive for peace over war.”
With her parents in Gaza, Nadia said how she “started this week extremely fearful” and is now “ending this week in complete despair”.
She said: “I’ve seen many wars in Gaza as I grew up, but nothing like this.”