Humza Yousaf’s wife interrupted an interview on Thursday in tears fearing the home her family in Gaza were staying in had been bombed.
Both Yousaf and his wife, Nadia El-Nakla, have been candid in their fears for her family – including her parents, grandmother and brother and his children – who are currently “trapped” in Gaza.
El-Nakla had been watching TV reports of bombing, and recognised the area as where they were staying and feared it had been hit, although was later able to contact her mother.
Her parents, Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, travelled to Gaza last week to visit his 93-year-old mother when Hamas attacked Israel, prompting reprisals and senior Israeli officials declaring a “siege” of the territory.
The First Minister was due to speak to various media outlets on Thursday ahead of the party’s conference in Aberdeen this weekend.
In the early minutes of the interview in the drawing room of his official residence at Bute House, El-Nakla entered the room, sobbing, telling the First Minister she could not contact her family, whom they had been speaking to just hours before.
The First Minister later said she had been watching media reports of bombing, recognising the area to be near where her parents are staying.
She would eventually manage to contact her family, who verified that they were safe.
Yousaf – although visibly shaken by the news – insisted the interview go ahead.
When the interview resumed, he said: “(Nadia’s) family live in a place called Deir Al-Balah, it’s just outside Gaza City.
“Nadia was watching Al-Jazeera Live – and Nadia used to travel to Deir Al-Balah before the blockade – and she recognised the neighbourhood, it was their neighbourhood being hit.
“She couldn’t get through to her mum and dad, so she was obviously very distressed.
“But she has, thank God, her mum has got a message through saying, ‘our neighbourhood is being hit, we haven’t been hit yet’.”
He added: “The Israeli government know where our family is, they know the co-ordinates, to that extent, so my hope is that they won’t be hit.”
El-Nakla spoke to the BBC on Wednesday, saying her parents continually “feel like they are going to die”.
Along with her parents and elderly grandmother, her brother – a doctor – has four children, the youngest of whom is just four weeks old.
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