The wife of Scotland’s First Minister has said her brother has been unable to flee Gaza, leading to calls for a resettlement scheme similar to that offered to Ukrainian refugees.

Nadia El-Nakla, an SNP councillor in Dundee, told the Guardian newspaper her sister-in-law has been able to take refuge in Turkey with the couple’s four children, who are aged between six months and nine years.

But she said her brother’s name was removed from the list provided by the Turkish administration – meaning the emergency doctor must remain in the war-torn region alongside his 93-year-old grandmother, who requires round-the-clock care.

Ms El-Nakla, who is married to Humza Yousaf, is now urging the UK Government to allow those with family in Britain to live in the UK while the conflict with Israel continues.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf:' In-laws still alive in Gaza' after days without contact

She told the Guardian: “The Ukrainian resettlement programme saved so many lives. Gazans should also have that opportunity, especially those with family in Britain.

“I feel like a second-class citizen in my own country, because I don’t have the right to bring my own brother to stay in my own home.

“I can see people across the street hosting Ukrainian families, and rightly so, But I can’t host my own brother, to me that feels beyond upsetting.”

The Herald:  Nadia El-Nakla is married to Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf (PA) Nadia El-Nakla is married to Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf (PA) (Image: PA)

But Ms El-Nakla, who attended a summit of leaders’ spouses in Istanbul prior to her family’s escape, said she is “so grateful” her sister-in-law and her children are safe, adding: “My brother keeps thanking me for saving his kids.”

The politician has been outspoken about her family’s situation in Gaza, regularly joining Mr Yousaf in calling for a ceasefire.


Her parents – Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla – were in Gaza visiting relatives at the time of the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel and the subsequent initial retaliation.

They were trapped with limited supplies for almost a month before being granted permission to leave through Egypt along with other British nationals.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf accuses Israeli leaders of proposing 'ethnic cleansing'

They returned to Dundee, but remain “traumatised” by their experience, Ms El-Nakla said, and they have now travelled to Turkey to support their daughter-in-law.

Meanwhile, Ms El-Nakla said her brother continues to work in dangerous circumstances.

“There’s nothing I can say to comfort him,” she told the newspaper.

“I said to him remember the line from the Koran that says with difficulty comes ease, and that ease should come soon. He replied: ‘I say that line about 100 times a day.’

“They’re just so tired of it. There’s no respite.”