Humza’s Yousaf has said his family are down to just six bottles of drinking water between 100 people as they continue to experience the “torture” of being trapped in Gaza.
The First Minister told how his wife’s parents felt “powerless” as they were unable to get back to Scotland amid Israel’s siege of the region.
Elizabeth El-Nakla and her husband Maged – the parents of Yousaf’s wife Nadia – travelled to Gaza before hostilities flared up earlier this month to visit family, becoming trapped.
Israel is widely expected to launch a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas’s October 7 rampage into southern Israeli communities.
The country has allowed small aid packages into the city in recent days but people are still unable to leave.
During a visit to flood-hit Brechin, the First Minister was seen walking away to take a phone call and later revealed it was from his family in Gaza.
“I literally just took a call from them two minutes ago and they are devasted,” he said when asked about his in-laws.
“They feel powerless. They’ve not heard any news about the border potentially opening up for them.
“My mother-in-law just told me they’re down to six bottles of clean drinking water – that’s in a household of 100 people and they’ve got six bottles.”
He said aid urgently needs to reach the area as Israel promises increased airstrikes.
More than 1,400 people in Israel were killed during the initial Hamas attack.
Since then, over 4,600 people have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. That includes the disputed toll from a hospital explosion.
Yousaf urged the UK Government to pressure its allies in the region to open the border and allow people to leave the territory.
He said: “The border needs to open to let people out and I plead with the UK Government to demand from their allies and friends in Egypt and Israel to open that border and let foreign nationals out and indeed innocent men, women and children in Gaza who want to leave to leave.”
Asked how his family were feeling, he added: “It’s torture for them, absolute torture. It’s a nightmare for us but it’s torture for them.
“They cannot sleep, they have very little in the way of supplies, they want to come back home and they feel their government isn’t doing enough to get them home and that’s where I plead that the UK Government demand the border is open, that a crossing is open, not just to let aid in – that’s important, vital in fact – but to also let people out.”
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