First Minister Humza Yousaf has said his family in Gaza are drinking water obtained from the sea in order to survive.
Yousaf said the family – including his Dundee-based in-laws Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, the parents of his wife Nadia – had run out of fresh water on Sunday.
Speaking on Monday, the First Minister said they had resorted to drinking water obtained from the sea.
“I spoke to my mother-in-law this morning … the situation is dire and desperate for them,” he said.
“They’re out of clean water, they’ve got water from sea water, effectively, and the bombing continues.”
The US Government’s National Ocean Service says on its website that sea water can be “deadly” to humans.
His in-laws travelled to Gaza from their home in Dundee prior to the recent conflict to visit family.
The First Minister said “above and beyond” his in-laws, the “overwhelming majority” of the population of Gaza were “suffering for a crime that, of course, they did not commit”.
“I plead with those that are in charge and responsible to agree to a ceasefire,” he said.
“And that, of course, is all parties have to agree to a ceasefire to allow significant aid to come in and for the Rafah crossing to open to allow people to leave.”
Last week, the First Minister wrote to all UK political leaders calling for them to back his calls for a ceasefire.
He received a response from Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton – who backed his calls – and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and London mayor Sadiq Khan have voiced their support for a ceasefire.
But in an interview with Sky News on Monday, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Darren Jones, said that, while the opinions of Sarwar and Khan matter to the Labour Party, “they are not part of the Shadow Cabinet and its the Shadow Cabinet that decides what Labour Party policy is in Westminster and that’s what’s happened”.
Responding, the First Minister said: “I would say its disappointing to see a member of Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet essentially dismissing Sadiq Khan, essentially dismissing Anas Sarwar’s opinion, saying that its the Shadow Cabinet that makes these decisions, not the more peripheral figures, which I think is unfortunate.”
He added: “I do applaud the fact that Sadiq Khan and Anas Sarwar have gone against Keir Starmer’s position and called for that ceasefire.”
The First Minister said he had not yet had a response from the Labour leader or Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
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