Humza Yousaf 'desperately worried' about family in Gaza after communications cut off

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf has said he is "desperately worried" about whether his family who are trapped in Gaza are alive or dead after losing contact with them.

The first minister said he last spoke to the parents of his wife Nadia El-Nakla at around 7.30am on Friday before communications were cut off as Israel expanded ground operations overnight.

His in-laws travelled to the region before the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October and have been trapped ever since.

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"We are one of many thousands of families, I suspect, across the world who are desperately worried about whether or not our loved ones are alive or dead and I simply don't know the answer to that question," he told Sky News.

Mr Yousaf said in the last conversation he had with his mother-in-law, Elizabeth, a retired nurse, she told him there had been an intense night of bombing and that the family home, which usually has 10 people in it, was housing 100 people.

"The hundred in the house spent a fair chunk of the evening deciding which room they would go in and which corner they would huddle into should there be an airstrike that hits the home," he said.

"Because they wanted to find out if the house does crumble, where would they be the safest.

"That isn't a conversation anybody should have to have - certainly not any innocent men, women and children.

"So you can imagine we are feeling quite numb, to be frank, and desperately worried about their safety."

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Mr Yousaf said his mother-in-law and father-in-law Maged, a retired business owner, are among an estimated 200 UK citizens thought to be in Gaza, who "feel abandoned by the UK government".

He also reiterated calls for an immediate ceasefire, adding: "How many more children do we need to die until people are unequivocal, their demand for no more bombs to be falling on any innocent man woman or child?"