Scotland’s First Minister and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Humza Yousaf speaks during an interview with Reuters ahead of his party’s annual conference in Aberdeen, Britain, October 16, 2023. REUTERS/Gerhard May
SCOTLAND’s first minister Humza Yousaf confirmed on Friday (3) that his parents in-law had managed to leave Gaza and enter Egypt through the Rafah crossing.
Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, the parents of Yousaf’s wife Nadia, became trapped in the Palestinian territory after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.
They were there visiting relatives when Israel declared war on Hamas after its gunmen killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.
Since then, Israel has relentlessly bombarded the Palestinian territory and sent in ground troops, with the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza saying more than 9,200 people have been killed, two-thirds of them women and children.
“We are very pleased to confirm that Nadia’s parents were able to leave Gaza through the Rafah Crossing this morning,” Yousaf said in a statement.
“These last four weeks have been a living nightmare for our family, we are so thankful for all of the messages of comfort and prayers that we have received from across the world, and indeed from across the political spectrum in Scotland and the UK,” Yousaf said.
Yousaf said other members of the family, including his brother-in-law who works as an emergency doctor in Gaza and wife’s grandmother and stepmother, had remained in the territory.
El-Nakla is a retired nurse from Dundee and had struggled to remain in contact with her daughter during the conflict with frequent loss of communication channels.
The couple were sharing a home in Deir al-Balah — south of the Gaza River, the line which Israeli Defence Forces ordered Palestinians to move beyond — with dozens of extended family.
Earlier this week, Yousaf said the family had run out of fresh water and were drinking water obtained from the sea.
Yousaf published a video online earlier in October showing his mother-in-law in Gaza tearfully deploring Israel’s order to evacuate more than one million people from the north of the Palestinian enclave.
“This will be my last video”, Elizabeth al-Nakla, a UK citizen, said in the recording shared by the Scottish leader on X, formerly Twitter.
Nakla said in the video that people from Gaza city in the northern Gaza Strip were moving southward after Israel gave Palestinians 24 hours to leave the besieged enclave’s largest city.