Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, has finally established contact with his family in Gaza after a period of communication blackout.
His in-laws have been stranded in the region since the attacks by Hamas in Israel. He said they managed to get in touch after two days without communication, reporting a shortage of drinking water.
Yousaf has reiterated the urgent need for a ceasefire and the prompt delivery of humanitarian aid to the affected area.
Phone lines and internet connections are gradually being restored to Gaza after a communication blackout lasting more than a day, The BBC reported.
Elizabeth El-Nakla and her husband Maged, who are the parents of Yousaf’s wife Nadia, had been out of contact since Friday (27) morning, and Yousaf was deeply concerned over their well-being. He feared they were dead.
They had travelled from their home in Dundee to Gaza to visit a sick relative before the conflict began.
The communication blackout occurred as Israel escalated its bombardment of the territory and initiated a large ground operation involving tanks and troops. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to this as the “second stage” of what he described as a “long and difficult” war with Hamas.
Writing on Twitter, Yousaf said, “We heard from my in-laws in Gaza this morning, they are alive, thank God.
“However, they have run out of clean drinking water.
“The UN resolution must be implemented. We need the violence to stop, and for significant amounts of aid to get through without delay.”
The first minister has reached out to all political leaders in the UK, urging them to support a ceasefire in Gaza. He acknowledged Israel’s right to defend itself after the attacks on October 7 but stressed the urgency of halting the “staggering humanitarian disaster” unfolding in Gaza.
Territory has been bombed by Israel since 1,400 people have been killed and 229 people have been taken as hostages.
According to the health ministry in Gaza which is run by Hamas, more than 8,000 people have lost their lives since the beginning of Israel’s retaliation.
On Saturday, numerous protesters in Scotland participated in pro-Palestinian rallies held in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee.
Similar demonstrations took place in various cities across the UK, including London, Manchester, and Belfast.