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by Margaret Taylor
03 November 2023
Humza Yousaf's parents-in-law leave Gaza

Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla (family handout)

Humza Yousaf's parents-in-law leave Gaza

First Minister Humza Yousaf’s parents-in-law were among 92 Britons that left Gaza this morning.

Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, who live in Dundee and had been trapped in the Palestinian territory since travelling there to visit relatives over a month ago, were named on a list published by the Palestinian Border Authority.  

In total, 127 people were being allowed to leave the warzone today, crossing into Egypt at the Rafah border.

In a statement, Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla said Nadia's brother, elderly gran and stepmother, who are all Palestinian citizens, remain in Gaza.

"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," they said.

"Although we feel a sense of deep personal relief, we are heartbroken at the continued suffering of the people of Gaza. We will continue to raise our voices to stop the killing and suffering of the innocent people of Gaza.

"We reiterate our calls for all sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire, the opening of a humanitarian corridor so that significant amounts of aid, including fuel, can flow through to a population that have suffered collective punishment for far too long, and for all hostages to be released.

"Families in Gaza and Israel are suffering after the loss of entirely innocent men, women and children. We pray for them all, and pray that the international community at last focuses on achieving a lasting peace in the region: one that recognises that the rights and lives of Palestinians and Israelis are equal."

Earlier this week Egypt began allowing small groups of people holding foreign papers to enter the country. It has reportedly refused to open its border for fear that an influx of Palestinian refugees would be prevented by Israel from returning to Gaza after the war.

Yousaf has spoken repeatedly of the “torture” his relatives have been living through since the Israel-Hamas war began.

In an emotional speech to the SNP conference last month El-Nakla, who is a councillor in Dundee, said the bombardment of Gaza was an “assault on humanity” and that knowing her parents was trapped meant her “heart feels like it is turning to stone”. 

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