The first minister of Scotland is relieved to know that his parents-in-law in Gaza are alive, but they are facing a shortage of clean drinking water.
On Sunday morning, Humza Yousaf announced that he had received positive news, after expressing concerns about the well-being of individuals in Gaza due to a communication blackout imposed by Israel on Friday.
He restated his plea for a ceasefire and for following through with the UN resolution that advocates for a continuous humanitarian pause resulting in an end to fighting.
Yousaf posted a status update on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday saying, “This morning, we received news from my in-laws in Gaza that they are alive, thank God. Unfortunately, they are facing a shortage of clean drinking water.”
He stated: “The implementation of the UN resolution is crucial. We must put an end to the violence and ensure that aid is delivered promptly. #CeasefireNow.”
Yousaf’s spouse’s parents, Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, residing in Dundee, journeyed to Gaza at the beginning of this month to see their son, four grandchildren, and Maged’s 92-year-old ailing mother.
The pair has not been able to locate a secure route out since the initial Hamas strike occurred at the Israel border.
Nadia El-Nakla, the wife of Yousaf, shared with the BBC that her parents constantly express their fear of death.
Yousaf stated on Saturday that they had not received any communication from his in-laws since the severe bombing that occurred on Friday evening.
He expressed his deep concern and uncertainty about the well-being of the individuals, stating that their current status is unknown.
According to him, this is the current situation faced by numerous individuals worldwide. Their loved ones in Gaza have been enduring bombardment for the past three weeks and they have not been able to communicate with them.
He stated, “It is definitely making a difference, not just for my wife but also for others. This morning, I overheard my four-year-old daughter pretending to call her grandmother and asking when she will return.”
On Friday, the Scottish government released a letter written by Yousaf to all political leaders in the UK, calling on them to back a cessation of hostilities.
He stated that Israel has the right to defend itself from attacks, but must also adhere to international law.
Yousaf expressed his desire for assistance in halting the alarming humanitarian crisis that we are currently witnessing, which is expected to worsen.
The situation in Gaza is reaching a critical level and urgent action needs to be taken to prevent a catastrophic outcome. We must not hesitate any longer and unite to demand an immediate end to the violence.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran expressed concern about the agonizing uncertainty of not knowing whether her relatives in the blackout were safe.
On Sunday, she informed the BBC that she now knows they are currently safe. However, she noted that the mindset of those in Gaza has shifted from seeking safety from Israeli attacks to contemplating where they would like to be when facing death.
Moran’s relatives who are Palestinian Christians are currently seeking refuge in a church in Gaza, along with approximately 100 other individuals.
The foreign affairs spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats stated that her maternal family members had taken refuge in a church after their house was destroyed by the Israel Defence Forces in response to Hamas’s attack on October 7th.
Moran expressed concerns for their well-being during an interview with Victoria Derbyshire on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show.
The period of 24-48 hours without internet and other services was agonizing. We were anxious about the well-being of our loved ones and not knowing their status was unbearable for our family.
According to a message broadcasted by someone with a foreign sim card in the church, it appears that they are currently safe due to their ability to connect to Israeli networks.
She stated: “There is no safe place in Gaza, and unfortunately, the tone of discussions in Gaza has shifted.”
People are no longer asking where they can go to find safety. Instead, they are asking where they would like to be when they pass away.
“This is not an exaggeration; this is not only from them but also from their friends and family whom we are in contact with. I cannot emphasize enough the severity of the situation.”