Scottish first minister says he feels helpless, powerless   


Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla had traveled to Gaza last week to visit Maged’s 93-year-old mother….reports Asian Lite News

Scotland’s first minister said he feels “helpless and powerless” to save his parents-in-law who are trapped in Gaza amid fears of a massive Israeli ground invasion.

In an interview with Channel 4, Humza Yousaf broke down in tears as he described the “suffering” of his in-laws, who are sheltering near Gaza City.

Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla had traveled to Gaza last week to visit Maged’s 93-year-old mother.

Yousaf told Channel 4: “I’ll be honest. I may be first minister of Scotland, but in this situation I feel powerless. I can raise my voice, I can tell the story, but beyond that, I’m watching my mother-in-law and my father-in-law suffer.

“And anybody knows, any human being, your first instinct is to protect your family as best you possibly can, and we feel helpless.”

He added: “In my heart of hearts, I can’t tell you whether my mother-in-law will be back or not. And that’s tough for me and incredibly distressing for my wife.”

Yousaf’s wife Nadia El-Nakla told the BBC that her parents are “now caught up in a war situation,” adding: “My mother says that there’s continual bombardment from land, sea and air.”

Elizabeth “has not slept since Monday” and feels as if “every part of her body is shaking,” Nadia said, adding that her parents “are just terrified, absolutely terrified, about what’s to come and what’s happening right now as we speak.”

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have reduced the homes of her aunt and cousin to rubble. Yousaf on said Israel is “going too far” in its conflict with Hamas, warning that innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip “couldn’t be used as collateral damage.”

He called for the international community to “step up” its efforts to ensure a ceasefire in Gaza, and for the establishment of a humanitarian corridor to allow supplies into the enclave and to allow people to leave.

“There’s a humanitarian catastrophe that’s unfolding, and the collective punishment of 2.2 million Gazans just can’t be justified,” he said.

This week, Yousaf wrote a letter to UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly asking him to request the Israeli government to allow civilians to flee through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

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