Humza Yousaf has spoken of the trauma being suffered by his family after they escaped Gaza.

The First Minister said he thought it would take some time for his father and mother-in-law to recover from the ordeal of being trapped in the Palestinian enclave for the first month of the Israel-Hamas war. 

The SNP leader's brother-in-law is still in Gaza with his wife and young family. 

Mohammed El-Nakla, a doctor at the Al-Nasr Children's Hospital in the west of Gaza City, has witnessed “death and destruction," the First Minister said. 

READ MORE: Sarwar insists Labour MSPs will vote for Gaza ceasefire in Holyrood

Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla, The parents of the First Minister’s wife, Nadia El-Nakla, were visiting relatives when the war between Israel and Hamas broke out following the October 7 atrocities. 

They were only able to return to Scotland earlier this month after being permitted to pass through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.

Asked how they were, Mr Yousaf said "It's going to be a long road to recovery for them.

"They had to say goodbye to my father-in-law's mother. That's probably, in truth, the last time they'll ever see her again, given her age.

"He had to say goodbye over the phone to his son, because his son, my brother-in-law, has been in Al Nasr hospital for... I've lost count of how many days in a row now, but certainly over three weeks in a row.

"And they had to say goodbye to their grandchildren, the youngest of which is only three and a half months old.

"It will take a long, long time for them to recover."

He said Elizabeth was finding it hard at night as that was often when the bombing intensified in Gaza.

"When it gets dark here in Scotland, and of course, it's earlier and earlier, she still feels that same sense of panic. And I think that will take a considerable amount of time to recover. 

"But they are alive and they are with us. Our thoughts, of course, continue to remain with those who can't get out."

Asked how his Mohammed was doing, the First Minister said they'd spoken in a text exchange over the weekend. 

"He says he has never seen death and destruction like it. He told me he doesn't know how he's going to recover from it.

"He said one of his early jobs, when the conflict began, was to try to match body parts with the correct body.

"But now he's in a terrible way. He's not only doing what he's doing, which is dealing with being a doctor in the midst of a warzone, but he has four kids, and he's away from them day after day because he just doesn't leave the hospital."

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf's in-laws cross Rafah border into safety in Egypt

The First Minister has long called for a ceasefire in the conflict. Asked how that would work, he said it would need to involve the Qataris and the release of the more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas on October 7.

"We know that there are actors, take the Qatari government, who have helped to negotiate the release of hostages. They're playing a role in trying to bring about the release of hostages and a peaceful resolution.

"It's like the late Lord Ashton often said, you don't make peace with your friends, you're going have to make peace somehow, with enemies.

"Now Hamas are a terror organisation who's committed the most abhorrent atrocity. Those who have any influence over Hamas, such as, for example, the Qatari Government, they're all going to have to work unbelievably hard to get a ceasefire,"

"I certainly am not suggesting that these are easy," he said. "It is going to require both sides. At the moment we have the Israeli government saying they're not entertaining a ceasefire. We have heard from Hamas to say that they would do these attacks again and again.

"So we don't doubt at all that it is going to be incredibly difficult.

"But when we have this level of death, this level of destruction, and let's just put into context, one in 200 have been killed in Gaza. If we translated that to the UK population, we're talking about over 300,000 people that would have been killed.

"So that level of death and destruction, there has to be the international community, not kind of dancing on the head of a pin, but actually internationally using all the diplomacy that we can bring to the table together to say this has to stop and there has to be a resolution.

"And to be frank, we will not see the end of these perpetual cycles of violence between Israel and Palestine until the root cause is addressed.

"And the root causes really have not had any concerted effort for a two-state solution for decades and the creation of the Palestinian state, which was a promise that has been made for decades, has not been any closer to fruition for many, many years."