Humza Yousaf has said his relatives still in Gaza face an “indescribable” festive period as the conflict with Israel continues.

The Scottish First Minister prayed for “peace” in the region during his Christmas message but he has told the PA news agency the conflict will not take a break despite the rest of the world stopping to celebrate the holiday with their families.

Mr Yousaf revealed in October that his parent-in-laws Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla were trapped in Gaza while visiting family.

They have since managed to return to Dundee through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, after spending two weeks in a house where 100 people were sheltering.

But his brother-in-law Mohammed, a doctor working at Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, remains with his wife and four children, the youngest who is just a few months old.

He told the PA news agency on Sunday: “We spoke to our family yesterday and the situation is beyond anything that I could ever imagine, it’s indescribable really.

“For all of us who will be celebrating with family, will be having lots of good food to tuck into on Christmas, I really think it’s important that we take a moment to reflect on the fact that those in Gaza, Ukraine, many right across the world, that are suffering the horrors of war, I’m afraid for them, the horrors of war will not take a break during the Christmas period, so my thought and my prayers are very much with the people of Gaza.

“And remembering of course, that is the region of Christ’s birth and they are suffering terribly and horrendously.

“So I’ll be thinking of all of those people across the world who are suffering, and praying for peace sooner rather than later.”

Mr Yousaf has continuously called for a full ceasefire to be agreed between Hamas and Israel, since the conflict began with the former’s attack on Israel on October 7.

Earlier this month, Mr Yousaf shared information on the hospital his brother-in-law worked at, saying the situation there was “petrifying”.

He shared a post of X by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, who said Nasser Hospital is three times over capacity and conditions are “beyond inadequate”.