Scottish leader Humza Yousaf’s mother-in-law makes tearful appeal from Gaza

El-Nakla, the mother of Humza Yousaf’s wife, Nadia, had travelled from her home in Scotland last week to visit family in Gaza. — Screengrab/X/@HumzaYousaf

Elizabeth El-Nakla, mother-in-law of Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf trapped in Gaza due to ongoing war, has pleaded for help saying: “Where’s people’s hearts in the world, to let this happen in this day and age?”

El-Nakla, the mother of Humza Yousaf’s wife, Nadia, had travelled from her home in Scotland last week to visit family in Gaza with her husband, Maged.

The couple have been trapped since Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in response to a deadly attack by Hamas at the weekend.

Speaking from Deir al-Balah, about 10 miles south-west of Gaza City, El-Nakla said the video would be her last, adding: “Everybody from Gaza is moving towards where we are.

“One million people, no food, no water – and still they’re bombing them as they’re leaving. Where are you going to put them? But my thought is – all these people in the hospital cannot be evacuated.

“Where is humanity? Where’s people’s hearts in the world, to let this happen in this day and age? May God help us, goodbye.”

First Minister of Scotland Yousaf also slammed Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza, calling upon international community to “step up and demand an end to collective punishment”.

In a post alongside the video that his mother-in-law earlier posted, Yousaf said: “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.”

The mother-in-law of Scotland’s first minister is trapped in Gaza. Speaking to the BBC, Yousaf said his mother-in-law was in a “real state of distress”, adding that he and his family felt it necessary to share the clip to demonstrate how ordinary Palestinians – not aligned with Hamas – are suffering. “They’re doctors and nurses. Over 50% are children. And they’re being told to leave. But they’ve got nowhere to go. Rafah [border crossing with Egypt] has closed, the Erez border [with Israel] is closed. And there is a humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding, and the collective punishment of 2.2 million Gazans just cannot be justified.”

He added that he had “entire, absolute sympathy with those poor, innocent men, women and children in Israel that lost their lives”, and said the killing of civilians – Israeli and Palestinian – must be stopped. Among the first to comment on El-Nakla’s video was the former first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said: “My heart breaks for the people of Israel and for all the innocent civilians in Gaza who are also paying the price of Hamas’s appalling acts of terror. “Closer to home, my thoughts are with my friends Nadia and Humza and their family, and also with Scotland’s precious Jewish community, at this unimaginably awful time.”

Yousaf urged the international community to “step up”. 

He said: “UN has said the order to move 1.1 million people in 24 hours will lead to ‘devastating humanitarian consequences’. The international community must step up and demand an end to collective punishment. Enough. There can be no justification for the death of innocent men, women and children.” 

Yousaf told Sky News that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has not spoken to him about the crisis, despite his mother-in-law being trapped in Gaza. He said he wrote to James Cleverly, the foreign secretary, about the situation with his mother-in-law and was “angry” and “disappointed” to receive no reply: “He was in Israel and could have picked up the phone to me and made assurances about getting two UK citizens out.”

Yousaf said he feels “powerless and helpless” and that his wife Nadia is in “total distress”.

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