Humza Yousaf's in-laws have been able to leave the Gaza strip and make it to safety in Egypt.

Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla left through the Rafah border crossing this morning after being given permission to leave by the Palestinian Border Authority. 

Mr Yousaf and his wife Nadia released a statement saying they were "grateful" to all those who had helped the couple after the "living nightmare" the family had faced. 

Elizabeth, a retired nurse from Dundee, had been visiting family with her husband whenthe October 7 Massacre in Israel ignited the current hostilities, and had become trapped in the Palestinian territory. 

All exits from the strip were shut for weeks as Israel implemented a siege of the territory and launched an intense aerial assault. 

The Rafah crossing currently offers the only way in and out of Gaza after it was opened by Egypt on Wednesday

The Herald: Humza Yousaf and Nadia El-Nakla 

The statement from Humza Yousaf and his wife said: "We are very pleased to confirm that Nadia’s parents were able to leave Gaza through the Rafah Crossing this morning. 

"We are grateful to all of those who have assisted our parents over the last few weeks, including the FCDO crisis team.

"These last four weeks have been a living nightmare for our family, we are so thankful for all of the messages of comfort and prayers that we have received from across the world, and indeed from across the political spectrum in Scotland and the UK."

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf says family in Gaza reduced to drinking seawater

The First Minister previously told how his mother-in-law had given up hope of escaping the conflict.  

Mr Yousaf said: “They’re really living in a situation that my mother-in-law describes as torture. 

“The whole night there will be missiles, rocket fire, drones – they don’t know whether they are going to make it from one night to the next." 

Mr Yousaf has called for a ceasefire between Isreal and Hamas to allow humanitarian aid to be sent to the warzone. 

More than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza so far, and another 1,400 people have died in Israel, mainly civilians killed during Hamas’s initial attack.

Food, fuel and water are said to be running low and many areas have been reduced to rubble by the bombardment. 

More than 200 hostages taken during by Hamas during the raid deep into Israel in October, including women and children, remain missing.

The Herald: Pictures of loved ones who have been captured by Hamas on display during a Defend Israeli Democracy UK press conference

Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave and sent in ground troops to encircle gaza city, while Hamas and other armed groups have fired more than 8,000 rockets at Israeli cities. 

Mr Yousaf's statement continued: "Although we feel a sense of deep personal relief, we are heartbroken at the continued suffering of the people of Gaza. We will continue to raise our voices to stop the killing and suffering of the innocent people of Gaza.

​READ MORE: Humza Yousaf's In-laws 'on list allowed through Gaza Rafah crossing'

"We reiterate our calls for all sides to agree to an immediate ceasefire, the opening of a humanitarian corridor so that significant amounts of aid, including fuel, can flow through to a population that have suffered collective punishment for far too long, and for all hostages to be released.

"Families in Gaza and Israel are suffering after the loss of entirely innocent men, women and children. We pray for them all, and pray that the international community at last focuses on achieving a lasting peace in the region: one that recognises that the rights and lives of Palestinians and Israelis are equal."

Around 800 people have left throug h the Rafah crossing during the past two days.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously ruled out a ceasefire, and said on Thursday: “We are advancing… Nothing will stop us.” He vowed to destroy Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.