Yousaf says in-laws still alive in Gaza after days without contact

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has said he has spoken to his in-laws trapped in Gaza amid the ongoing conflict.

He had said on Saturday that he and his wife, Nadia El-Nakla, had not been able to contact her parents since the previous day after communications were knocked out and they did not know if they were dead or alive.

Ms El-Nakla’s parents, Elizabeth and Maged, travelled to Gaza from Scotland prior to the conflict to visit family.

Elizabeth and Maged el-Nakla
Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, from Dundee, are trapped in Gaza (handout/PA)

On Sunday, Mr Yousaf said on X, formerly Twitter, that he has now heard from them.

He said they are alive but he fears for their safety as they have run out of drinking water.

He said: “We heard from my in-laws in Gaza this morning, they are alive, thank God.

“However, they have run out of clean drinking water.

Nadia El-Nakla
Nadia El-Nakla’s parents had travelled to Gaza from Scotland to visit family before the conflict began (Jane Barlow/PA)

“The UN resolution must be implemented.

“We need the violence to stop, and for significant amounts of aid to get through without delay.”

The First Minister previously wrote to all political leaders in the UK, urging them to back a ceasefire in Gaza.

In a letter understood to have been sent on Thursday evening, he said Israel has a right to defend itself following the Hamas attacks on October 7, but he added action must be taken now to stop the “staggering humanitarian disaster” unfolding in Gaza before it becomes “cataclysmic”.

A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office said: “Our top priority remains the release of hostages and safety of British nationals in Gaza, and for humanitarian aid to get through.

“Humanitarian pauses will be an important operational tool to support these goals. Our support for Israel’s right to defend itself under international law remains unchanged.”

Later in the day Mr Yousaf said that he stands with the Jewish community in Scotland against antisemitism, after reports that hundreds of people had stormed into the main airport in Russia’s Dagestan region and on to the landing field, in protest at the arrival of a plane from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Russian news reports said people in the crowd were shouting antisemitic slogans and tried to storm the plane belonging to Russian carrier Red Wings.

Authorities closed the airport in Makhachkala, the capital of the predominantly Muslim region, and police converged on the facility on Sunday.

Mr Yousaf commented on a news report about the incident posted by LBC on X, formerly Twitter.

He wrote: “Absolutely terrifying footage.

“There is real fear amongst our Jewish communities worldwide about the rise of antisemitism.

“I stand with our Jewish community in Scotland against antisemitism. We can not allow the forces of hatred to divide us.”