UK

Humza Yousaf’s wife calls for urgent ceasefire in Gaza after family injured

First Minister Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla (Jane Barlow/PA)
First Minister Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla (Jane Barlow/PA) First Minister Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla (Jane Barlow/PA)

Humza Yousaf’s wife has asked for an urgent ceasefire in the Gaza strip after her relatives were wounded by shrapnel in a drone attack.

Nadia El-Nakla, an SNP councillor for Dundee City Council, spoke on LBC news about the dangers faced by her family who have become caught in the midst of the ongoing conflict.

Speaking to presenter Shelagh Fogarty, she revealed her mother, Elizabeth, had to pull shrapnel from her young cousin’s skin as hospitals are dangerous and low on medical supplies.

The First Minister revealed last weekend that his wife’s family were trapped in Gaza after the Hamas attack on southern Israel.

The family had travelled to the country to visit Ms El-Nakla’s grandmother and her brother – who is a doctor – and his family.

On Tuesday, Ms El-Nakla told LBC news: “Two minutes before I came on my mother called me.

“My uncle, aunt and their three children were just sitting outside and they just got hit by a drone.

“Thankfully, the drone hit off a metal fire extinguisher and now my two-year-old cousin is covered in shrapnel.

“This is affecting everyone in Gaza. My mum’s crying and she’s a retired nurse so is removing the shrapnel.

Nadia El-Nakla
Nadia El-Nakla Nadia El-Nakla, wife of First Minister Humza Yousaf (Jane Barlow/PA)

“She said, ‘don’t worry, they’re okay. It’s just in their skin’. But she can’t go to hospital as there’s absolutely no way to get that kind of treatment.”

She revealed her brother was unable to come home from hospital as it was unsafe to travel.

She added: “But he also can’t bring himself to leave because they’re having to choose now between who to treat. They don’t have any supplies left.

“He’s telling me there’s just death and devastation all around him. That was his words from last night.

“I can’t imagine having to – you know, he’s a father of four, seeing small children missing limbs and the deaths, for him, he will psychologically never be the same.

“My mum has not slept in days. My parents are getting older and they’ve never experienced anything like this.

“My brother wants to get them out to safety but there’s no way to do it. We are having very difficult conversations. They’re feeling helpless and desperate and I’m struggling to find the words to comfort them.”

She said she did not feel reassured by diplomatic statements given by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak or US president Joe Biden.

She continued: “I feel I’ve heard very little about peace. We don’t have time. Hospitals are running out of fuel as we speak.

“People, a massive number of people, are dying. And we don’t have the time for a slow approach to humanitarian aid. There needs to be humanitarian aid. Yesterday.

“The numbers that we’re seeing dying are just incredible, and most of them – 50% – are children and there’s more under the rubble.

“I want an urgent ceasefire, humanitarian aid getting into Gaza, and I want the foreign nationals to be able to get out. I want to see our governments have discussions about long-lasting peace.

“I believe that the people of Israel, the people of Palestine, want to live in peace and deserve to live in peace.

“A long-term solution to this conflict has to be made. And that can only be made with countries taking an approach that takes into consideration the actions of both Palestinians and Israel and do not put the lives of any Palestinian or Israeli above each other.

“These are children on both sides. These are families on both sides, and the only way to get to a place is through peace.”

She then criticised the UK Government’s response to the Hamas attack for its use of spy planes and naval ships, adding that America sending weapons does not represent “both sides equally”.

Finally, on Hamas’ responsibility towards the lives of those in Gaza, she said she has “no idea” what power they hold or how many people it includes.

She added: “Israel is the occupying state. It left Gaza physically but when you control everything that comes in and comes out, then you’re controlling that area.

“People there do not have any quality of life, or an independent state, that’s not because of Palestinians, but because of the Israeli government and along with international peace-keeping efforts which have stalled greatly. But I am not versed – the responsibility is on both sides.

“Hamas, what they did, should be condemned but also the Israeli government for collective punishment must also be condemned.

“That’s why the way forward is to talk with compassion and love and have that mutual underlining of the importance of life on both sides.”